Lockdown in Delhi: The Centre states that dust, vehicular transport, and industry are the major reason and contributors to air pollution. The deteriorating air pollution has choked the national capital badly. Supreme Court has asked the government to hold an emergency meeting Tuesday on how to tackle the situation.
The Contribution Of Stubble Burning Is Not Much In Air Pollution
- The bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, referring to an affidavit filed by the center said stubble burning is not much contributing to the air pollution in Delhi.
- However, incidents of stubble burning are taking place in good quantity in Punjab and Haryana. We request the states to ask the farmers not to burn stubble for two weeks.
- The bench, also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant, expressed unhappiness at the executive for not taking concrete steps to deal with the crisis and said “it is very unfortunate that we have to set the agenda for them”.
- “Centre and three states (Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh), you should come up with a complete proposal. If you don’t, don’t blame us for giving directions,” Justice Suryakant said.
Advocate Rahul Mehra Said Delhi Is Ready To Impose Lockdown
- The court will next hear the matter on November 17. Delhi’s air quality is in the ‘very poor category since Sunday and it is expected to remain for at least three more days. Delhi lockdown is much needed.
- On Monday, the CJI told advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government: “The level of pollution has to be brought down immediately. That is the main concern. How you do it is your problem.” Mehra said Delhi is ready to impose lockdown as suggested by the court during the last hearing.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta On Air Quality Management Measures
- At the previous hearing, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre and Delhi governments to appraise it on emergency measures to tackle the Air Quality Index (AQI) and whether steps like a lockdown or stopping vehicles can be taken.
- On Monday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that steps have to be taken by states as well. A response action plan has been implemented since 2016 and is showing results, he said.
- Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas met on Sunday and they had recommended some measures to tackle the problem. Like regulating traffic entry into Delhi, shutting down the Badarpur power plant, hiking the rate of parking tickets by three times to deter people from traveling unnecessarily, and stopping diesel gen-sets except for emergencies.
Justice Surya Kant Asked Tushar Mehta About Drastic Measures
- Justice Surya Kant said: The situation is deteriorating and emergency steps are required to be taken. He asked Tushar Mehta about “drastic measures” that are scientifically possible and can be taken by the Centre and states.
- Tushar Mehta replied: The introduction of an odd-even scheme, barring the entry of trucks into Delhi and, worst of all, a lockdown. “Why not (stop) the entry or operation of all vehicles for a few days?” Asked Justice Suryakant.
- Also, The court also objected to the Delhi government’s reply on the number of mechanized road sweepers – that 69 machines being operated by the municipal corporation – may also be asked to file an affidavit.
- Justice Surya Kant said: “… you are giving money to the municipal corporation. Such a lame excuse would compel us to order an audit of your revenue earning how it is spent on populist slogans instead of this (buying machines, etc)”.
Stubble Burning By Farmers Contributes Only 10 Percent To Pollution
- Tushar Mehta on being asked, in the national capital which factor contributed the most to air pollution? Mehta replied- “76 percent is due to three factors — dust, industry, and transport”.
- Referring to an affidavit filed by the Centre Justice Chandrachud said that stubble burning contributes only four percent to pollution and “dust, vehicular transport, and industry are the three factors that have to be targeted if you have to get results in a few days”.
- Tushar Mehta wanted to clarify that the contribution of stubble burning was 10 percent and it is continued for two months.
- Justice Chandrachud said, If you take some steps regarding these issues, we will ask the state governments to focus on stubble burning.
Work From Home For Employees
- Air quality in Delhi, often ranked the world’s most polluted capital, has declined due to crop stubble burning, emissions from transport, coal-fired plants outside the city, and other industries, as well as open garbage burning and dust.
- The bench asked the Centre to decide by Tuesday evening on the non-essential industries that can be shut, vehicles that can be stopped, etc.
- One week of work from home for the employees is referred by CJI to the Delhi government. As Delhi has a number of people working there so work from home will suit them.
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