"We are monitoring the situation on an hourly basis and a further decision on the measures will be taken on Thursday", he told reporters here. Sisodia said the Government had also advised citizens not to burn dry leaves, crop residue, wood, coal etc. "As per rules, even after air quality is deemed severe, there is another 48-hour period of observation", Sisodia said.
A combination of smoke from stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana and moisture turned Delhi into a "gas chamber" today, prompting authorities to announce a series of preventive measures including a four-fold hike in parking fees and slashing of metro fares.
His tweet had said, "Considering high level of pollution, I have requested Sh Manish Sisodia, Education Minister, to consider closing schools for a few days".
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The Indian Medical Association (IMA) IMA has also appealed to the Delhi government to shut down outdoor sports and other such activities in schools keeping in view the harmful impact of air pollution on the health of the children. Junior classes will remain closed for some more days if the air quality doesn't improve, he added. The government had also said that they were ready to consider the return of the odd-even traffic plan. 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.
Alarming levels of pollution in Delhi calls for an action on a war-footing, Akshima Tejas Ghate, Associate Director (Transport and Urban Governance) TERI said. The Chief Minister has also requested for the appointment of Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, who is now on a visit to Germany to attend a Climate change summit.
Till Monday evening, the air quality index was in "very poor" category, but it deteriorated to "severe", as the air pollution rose to hazardous levels by Tuesday morning, leaving Delhiites gasping for breath.