India’s Supreme Court has told authorities to shut offices in the capital city of India and nearby cities. This allows millions to work from home as officials seek ways to reduce hazardous air pollution. Its order on Monday came after city authorities in New Delhi, which has been battling a toxic haze since early November, took emergency measures on Saturday, ordering the closure of schools and halting building work for four days.

The capital experienced severe conditions late last week as temperatures dropped and the Air Quality index reached 343 on a scale of 500 in Delhi on Monday. “It’s an emergency action. But you need a long term, year-long plan to cut down emissions coming from all the sources so there is not enough material, ingredients in the air during this time for this to happen,” Avikal Somvanshi, Program Manager of Clean Air Campaign, said.

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