SC directed the Centre to call emergency meeting on air pollution

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The Supreme Court directed the central government to convene an emergency meeting with Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh to formulate a plan to address the severe air pollution issue in Delhi NCR.

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant said that the major causes behind the air degradation in the national capital are construction activities, vehicular transportation, power plants.
The bench ordered the central government to call an emergency meeting of the committee with the chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi. They emphasized taking into consideration the issues it (the bench) suggested, like stopping construction, non-essential transport, power plants and encouraging working from home to tackle the air pollution.

During the hearing, the Solicitor General claimed that stubble burning, which the top court considered one of the main agents of pollution, is not the major cause of pollution in Delhi since it contributes only 10 per cent of the pollution.
Furthermore, the bench said that the commission under the Act has not explained what steps are to be taken to bring in control the pollution inducing elements. They further voiced their disappointment on the centre not taking an active part in the matter as the bench had to set an agenda for them.
According to the Centre’s affidavit, 75 pr cent of the pollution as stated in the scientific studies is due to industries, heavy vehicular traffic, and dust. The top court also observed that the content in the affidavit indicates that the major reason behind pollution is stubble burning.

The bench slammed the claims and referred the matter to a municipal commissioner.

Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra on behalf of the Delhi government told the bench that constructive criticisms are banned in the national capital. Due to Delhi’s absence of air boundaries, the government could impose lockdowns throughout the National Capital Region.

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