Pollution curbs lifted in Delhi
Primary schools will reopen in India's capital New Delhi this week and curbs will be lifted on certain construction activities, authorities said yesterday, after pollution levels improved to the 'very poor' category from 'severe'.
Residents in the capital have been waking up in recent weeks to hazy mornings with the sky a shade of grey.
A thick layer of smog envelops the city in winter as cold, heavy air traps construction dust, vehicle emissions and smoke from crop stubble burning in neighbouring states, causing a surge in respiratory illnesses among its 20 million people.
The air quality index in nearly all monitoring stations in the city was between 300 to 400 or in the "very poor" category yesterday, which experts say leads to respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.
However, it was an improvement on last week's reading of 400-500 in the index, which is described as "severe".
"Directions for work from home amended and offices functioning at full capacity from today," Delhi state environment minister Gopal Rai told reporters.