Severe air quality: 2-day lockdown in Delhi? Supreme Court asks Centre to take emergency action
While hearing a plea on Delhi's air pollution in the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana told the Centre and the Delhi government that an emergency decision needs to be taken.
New Delhi: As the national capital's air quality index (AQI) remained in the 'severe' category, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Saturday (November 13, 2021) told the Centre that air pollution is a serious situation. While hearing a plea on Delhi's air pollution in the Supreme Court, the CJI also said that they have been forced to wear masks at home as well.
The top court also asked the Centre what steps it has taken to tackle air pollution.
It asked the Centre and State governments to provide machines available for stubble burning to farmers.
"Everybody has the passion of blaming farmers. Have you seen how crackers are being burnt in Delhi for the last seven days? It is an emergency situation, multiple measures are needed to be taken on the ground level," the bench, also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant, said.
Think of lockdown
The top court also took note of the fact that schools have opened in the national capital and asked the authorities to take immediate measures such as stopping vehicles or imposing a lockdown in Delhi. It asked the Centre to tell them how the AQI can be reduced from 500 at least by 200 points.
"Can you think of two days lockdown or something? How can people live?" the SC asked.
Earlier on Friday, authorities had advised people to limit outdoor activities and told government and private offices to cut vehicle use by at least 30 per cent as air quality in Delhi-NCR inched towards the emergency level amid a rise in emissions from farm fires and unfavourable meteorological conditions.
Delhi's historical monuments Red Fort and Jama Masjid shrouded in smog as air quality dips to 'severe' category pic.twitter.com/cnfFq9hnWH — ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2021
Over 4,000 farm fires, accounting for 35 per cent of Delhi's pollution on Friday, played a major role in pushing the 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) to 471 by 4 pm. It was 411 on Thursday.
A sub-committee on Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) said meteorological conditions will be highly unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants till November 18 and agencies concerned must be fully ready to implement measures under the 'emergency' category.
Meanwhile, the overall AQI in Delhi was at 473 at 11:45 AM, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR)
This is noteworthy that an AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.
(With agency inputs)