As a thick cloud of smog cocooned the national capital and visibility levels dropped to 200 metres, the Delhi government scrambled to control the situation and announced that primary schools in the national capital will remain close tomorrow.
Authorities also announced a series of preventive measures including a four-fold hike in parking fees and slashing of metro fares.
"We are very concerned about sending our 6-year-old to school in such a situation. It is not like winters where you can dress your kids in layers of woollens to protect them," said Sapna Sharma, a clinical supervisor in Gurgaon.
Ridhima Malhotra, an IT professional said, "I have got a mask for my daughter. I will make her wear it whenever she steps out but I am not sure if it is enough. We want to send our kids to school but not at the cost of their lives."
Radhika Kapoor, founding member of the 'My right to breathe' campaign said, "We shut schools when it is too hot, we shut schools when it is too cold. What is the government waiting for when our children are consuming poison?"
"We have decided to install an air purifier at home and in our car to give some rest to our lungs. But is it going to be enough? We can hardly breath," another working woman said.
Delhi woke up to "severe" air quality today under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels breached the permissible standards by multiple times.
The rapid fall in air quality and visibility began last evening itself as moisture combined with pollutants shrouded the city in a thick cover of haze.
A number of schools have suspended outdoor activities in view of high pollution levels and many others have asked parents to ensure their children wear masks.