Respond by tomorrow what can be done to deal air pollution in Delhi: SC slams Delhi govt, Centre

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Image Source : PTI

A security personnel crosses a road near the Rashtrapati Bhavan, shrouded in smog, in New Delhi.

As air pollution in the national capital region continues to remain a concern, Supreme Court on Monday concluded that major culprits of air pollution are transport, industries, vehicular traffic apart from stubble burning in some areas.

Supreme Court directed the Centre to call for an emergency meeting tomorrow over issues like stopping construction, non-essential transport, power plants, and implementing work from home to deal with air pollution in Delhi-NCR. The matter has been adjourned for November 17.

Supreme Court asked the Centre and States of NCR region to consider work from home for the employees in the meantime also asks Chief secretaries of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana to be present for tomorrow’s emergency meeting by the Centre.

During the hearing, the Delhi government informed Supreme Court that it’s ready to impose a lockdown but since it doesn’t have air boundaries, Central Government can consider having it in the entire NCR and lockdown has to be imposed as a whole.

The Centre told Supreme Court that stubble burning is not the major cause of pollution at present in Delhi and northern states, as it contributes to only 10% of the pollution. It suggested three steps to bring down pollution including the introduction of an odd-even vehicle scheme, ban on trucks’ entry in Delhi, and severest will be lockdown.

Supreme Court observed that the major cause of air pollution in Delhi are dust, heavy vehicular traffic, and industries’; says if timely steps were taken by the government, pollution can be kept to manageable levels.

The Apex court while perusing the Delhi government’s affidavit said the affidavit is all about bashing farmers and how the entire cause is stubble burning. The court slammed the Delhi government saying it’s passing the buck to Municipal Commissioner.

“This kind of lame excuse will force us to hold an audit of the revenue you are earning and spend on popularity slogans,” SC told Delhi government.

Supreme Court asked Centre and State Government to respond by November 16 evening over which industries can be stopped, which vehicles can be prevented from plying and which power plants can be stopped, and how you can provide alternative power by then.

The court slammed both Centre and State governments that this is not how an executive emergency meeting was expected to be held saying, “It’s very unfortunate that we have to set an agenda for them”; asking the committee created to decide on the action plan by tomorrow evening.

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