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Mohit Dhyani|Aug 8, 2022
New Delhi: Terming the rise in air pollution in Delhi-NCR an "emergency" situation, the Supreme Court asked the Centre and the Delhi government on Saturday to take immediate measures to improve the air quality and suggested steps such as stopping vehicles and clamping a lockdown in the national capital.
The apex court slammed the Delhi government's decision to resume physical classes for students in the national capital.
The court said the situation of pollution is so bad that people are wearing masks inside their houses. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said there are other reasons for pollution such as vehicular emissions, firecrackers and dust, and singling out stubble burning is not the solution.
"Your projection is as if farmers are responsible for this pollution. Seventy per cent. First let the Delhi people be controlled. Where is the effective mechanism to control fire crackers, vehicle pollution etc.? "We understand some per cent is stubble burning. Rest is crackers, vehicular pollution, industries, dust pollution etc. You tell us how to bring AQI levels from 500 to 200 points in Delhi. Take some immediate urgent measures like a two-day lockdown," the bench, also comprising justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant, said.
The apex court has asked the Centre to revert on Monday. It 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.
The Delhi government and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had directed all schools, colleges and educational institutions to reopen on November 1. The authorities also issued COVID-19 guidelines and asked schools to permit staffs who are fully vaccinated.
The DDMA had also said that schools would have to ensure that there is not more than 50 per cent attendance in a class at one point of time and no student is forced to attend physical classes.
(With inputs from PTI)
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