Prabhakar Mishra, New Delhi: The Supreme Court has taken a tough stand on the deteriorating situation due to pollution in Delhi. The court has said that if needed, consider a two-day lockdown, if any step has to be taken to control the situation, then take it. The next hearing in the matter will take place on Monday. On the other hand, CM Kejriwal has called an emergency meeting in this matter at 5 pm today.
The Supreme Court on Saturday slammed both the Center and the Delhi government over the deteriorating air quality in the national capital. The top court has asked the central government to prepare a contingency plan to improve the air quality in Delhi.
The Supreme Court told the central government, “Tell us how can we make the AQI from 500 to at least 200 points. Take some necessary measures. Can you think of two days of lockdown or something? People how Can you stay?”
Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said air pollution is a serious condition and added, “we have to wear masks even at home”. The top court asked the Centre, “What steps were taken to tackle air pollution”.
The Supreme Court said that two lakh machines are available for burning stubble, which farmers cannot afford. Taking a jibe at both the Center and the Delhi government, the court asked, “Why can’t the central/state government give these machines to farmers or take stubble?”
The court further observed that while cursing farmers has become a new fashion, there are other reasons for the poor air quality in the city. “The stub may be part of the problem, but is not the only reason,” the court said.
Emphasizing on the health of children, the court criticized the Delhi government’s decision to reopen schools. The court said, “You have opened all the schools in the national capital and now children are exposed to pollution. It is your jurisdiction, not the Centre. What is happening on that front?”
The court said, “Young children have to go to school in this season, we are exposing them. We are exposing them to pollution, epidemic and dengue,” said Dr Guleria (AIIMS).
The court has asked the Center to immediately improve the pollution level in the national capital in the next 2-3 days. “Take an emergency decision. We will look at a long-term solution later,” the court said.
The Supreme Court fixed November 15 for hearing the petition and asked the Center to inform it about the steps taken to control air pollution.
The air quality in Delhi remained in the ‘severe’ category with an AQI of 473 on Saturday morning. The air quality index of Lodhi Road, Delhi University, IIT Delhi, Pusa Road-1 and Delhi Airport in Delhi was recorded at 489, 466, 474 and 480 and 504 respectively, according to SAFAR.
AQI between zero and 50 is ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’ and 401 and 500 ‘very poor’ considered serious.
first published:Nov. 13, 2021, 12:25 p.m.