With people reporting symptoms of irritation in nose and throat, the state government has officially declared holidays for the Schools while asking the residents to not come out during the morning hours for the next three days.
Sisodia said that the "gas chamber" situation in Delhi was "too close to being severe" and urged the intervention of the Central government to prevent a repeat of 2016 when AQI rose to 500, its highest possible.
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AQI level from 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 is "satisfactory" 101-200 is "moderate", 201-300 is "poor", 301-400 is "very poor", and 401 and above is "severe". This is worse than a day-after Diwali - October 20, 2017, when the AQI was recorded at 403, while the effluents on Tuesday were just a few notches below the index value recorded a day after Diwali-2016 (October 31) which was 443. In light of the sudden dip, measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) such as a four times hike in parking fees may be rolled out by the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority. Under the scheme, odd and even numbered vehicles ply on alternate days.As a thick smog hung over Delhi, leaving people gasping for breath, Sisodia said the Delhi Government had also asked all schools to stop outdoor activities, including morning assemblies. He added, "Along with this, since young children are at high-risk, all primary schools, up to Class V will remain closed tomorrow". Last year, the government had explored the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain to reduce suspended dust in the air - something which never worked out, explained officials.
Kejriwal has also sought an appointment with Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan to discuss the alarming situation, he said. Further, the Delhi/NCR region has also been shrouded with smog leading to deteriorating air quality.
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