'Look at signal we are sending to world': Supreme Court on Delhi pollution

What message we are sending across the globe about the ambient air quality in the national capital, the bench asked
Last Updated : 24 November 2021, 08:39 IST

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday told the Commission for Air Quality Management to rely upon statistical based model on wind pattern to take advance measures to curb the air pollution in Delhi-NCR before the situation deteriorates.

A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant asked the Centre and States of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to take steps in anticipation, instead of resorting to ad hoc measures like street cleaning through machines, anti-smog guns, dust management etc.

"We wait for weather to become severe before taking steps You have to take measures in anticipation based on scientific study in last five years," the bench said.

"This is the national capital. Look at the signal we are sending to the world. You can stop these activities in anticipation itself (of dip in air quality)," the Bench remarked.

"There are lot of expectations of the public. Major contribution to improve the situation has been the wind. Restrictions or measures to curb the situation have to come into play automatically," the bench added.

The court noted that the air quality index has gone beyond 380 point on Monday.

"We are not going to close this matter. We will continue with the matter almost every day or alternate day," the bench said.

The court suggested seasonal modelling for air pollution for example – from January to March, July to September, and November to January. “You have to have models for different seasons for Delhi," the bench said.

Mehta, for his part, listed out measures including closure of thermal plants, educational institutions and stopping of entry of trucks till November 26.

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Delhi government, submitted that the work for home for its employees has been extended till November 26.

During the hearing, senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for minor petitioner, Aditya Dubey, raised the issue of farm fires reported from Punjab, Haryana, and parts of Uttar Pradesh, to submit they must be duly compensated to persuade them to indulge in stubble burning.

The court sought to know if there has been any study on review of machines provided to farmers to deal with stubble.

A counsel also raised the issue of hardships faced by labourers due to closure of construction activities due to pollution. The court asked the States to use labour welfare cess to disburse money to the labourers in such a situation.

The court posted the matter for consideration on Monday.

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Published 24 November 2021, 07:26 IST

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