New Delhi shuts down schools, construction sites amid worsening smog

India's capital city New Delhi in a bid to control the deteriorating air quality, ordered on Saturday to shut down schools and construction sites temporarily. The air quality has worsened in the city since early this month.

Schools in the city will remain closed through next week, and limited construction activities will be carried out from Sunday to Wednesday. Government offices in the city will also remain closed, and private companies have been advised to ensure their employees work from home.

During an emergency meeting on Saturday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced measures to control toxic air quality.

Earlier on Saturday, India's apex court urged the federal and local governments to impose a lockdown for two days in the national capital to reduce pollution from vehicular traffic, industrial activities and construction sites.

The court said the air quality in New Delhi is in the "severe" category and will dip further in another two to three days. It asked the federal government to take an emergency decision to improve the air quality.

Kejriwal said the worsening smog conditions over the past few days in New Delhi was partially due to massive crop stubble burning in neighboring states.

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