DURING a recent standing committee meeting of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the Congress demanded that students in corporation schools be provided with masks till the air quality in the capital improves. “The air is still toxic and we should provide students with masks,” said leader of opposition Mukesh Goel.
But officials warned that the North Corporation, already battling fund shortage, does not have the means to provide masks to all its students. The Additional Commissioner (Revenue) for North Corporation, Renu Jagdev, informed the House that low quality masks could be provided “for the sake of lip service” but they will not solve the purpose of making children feel safer.
“The cost of procuring good quality masks is too high and the corporation does not have the finances,” he said.
Goel said the ruling BJP was “failing in its responsibility to curb pollution” and that “people are suffering due to unchecked pollution emanating from the corporation’s landfill sites”.
But member of the standing committee, Mohan Bhardwaj, said most MCD schools are deep inside colonies and students “would not require masks”.
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In the current financial year, the North civic body has projected a deficit of Rs 2,700 crore. The deficit in 2012-13 was Rs 790 crore and in 2013-14, it was Rs 540 crore.