Supreme Court on Saturday took cognizance of the worsening situation of air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region and has suggested the Delhi government impose two-day lockdown if needed to bring down the levels. The severe air pollution has been caused by stubble burning, vehicles, firecrackers, industries, dust.
” The situation is very bad… In the house we are wearing masks. It is a bad situation. How to control air pollution in Delhi, two days lockdown or what. How will people live in Delhi?” said the bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana.
Cannot Blame Farmers Only
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre informed the court about steps taken by the air quality management commission to abate air pollution in NCR and adjoining areas, which included steps taken to address agricultural stubble burning.
“Stubble burning by farmers is only responsible for 25 percent of the pollution, and the remaining 75 percent pollution was from firecracker burning, vehicular pollution, dust,” said the three-judge bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant.
“Where is the effective mechanism to control firecrackers, vehicular pollution? Look at the pollution level,” CJI questioned.
To which SG Tushar Mehta replied that the Centre and state governments are working together to address the issue.
“We have nothing to do, governments need burning solutions, how to control. Need two to three days short term plans to control pollution,” CJI said.
“Delhi government has opened schools and cited the AIIMS Director’s remark that it is a triple whammy – pollution, Covid, and dengue. Their lungs are exposed,” said Justice Chandrachud.
The apex court has directed the Centre and state government to submit its reply on Monday regarding the decisions taken to take emergency steps to address severe air pollution in the capital.