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  India   All India  09 Nov 2017  Day 3: Delhi inhales poison? Smog prevails, HC calls stubble burning 'main villain'

Day 3: Delhi inhales poison? Smog prevails, HC calls stubble burning 'main villain'

THE ASIAN AGE / PTI
Published : Nov 9, 2017, 11:10 am IST
Updated : Nov 9, 2017, 12:35 pm IST

The bench was hearing a PIL initiated by it in 2015 on the issue of poor air quality in the national capital.

The Delhi High Court asked the ruling Aam Aadmi Party government and the neighbouring states about the measures being taken to address the issue of 'stubble burning'. (Photo: Twitter | ANI)
 The Delhi High Court asked the ruling Aam Aadmi Party government and the neighbouring states about the measures being taken to address the issue of 'stubble burning'. (Photo: Twitter | ANI)

New Delhi: Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) has been inhaling poison for three consecutive days now; the smog began to take its toll from early Tuesday morning. To make venturing outdoors less of a health hazard, the government came up with a list of emergency measures to curb pollution levels in the capital.

Barring the ones carrying essential items, the Delhi government banned entry of all trucks into the NCR. After Kejriwal’s request to Education Minister Manish Sisodia, schools in the capital remain closed till Sunday.

To beat the ‘unbearable’ air pollution, construction and demolition activities have also been kept on hold till further notice.

The Delhi government further said, it would roll out the odd-even scheme if pollution levels persist in “severe plus” category for over 48 hours. A statement from the lieutenant-governor’s office, however, said the decision on odd-even would be taken on Thursday.

The government also issued a health advisory asking people to remain indoors. The advisory aims to counter health implications as the thick blanket of haze and smog can lead to long-term breathing problems like asthma attacks and bronchitis.

(Photo: ANI)(Photo: Twitter | ANI)

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said stubble burning was the "main villain" behind the severe level of pollution in the capital and the neighbouring areas.

The court asked the ruling Aam Aadmi Party government and the neighbouring states about the measures being taken to address the issue.

A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva said, October to January is a "critical period" when the air quality in Delhi is poor due to the weather conditions.

Stubble burning during this period acted as the "trigger" or is the "main villain" which leads the situation to deteriorate, it said.

"This becomes critical at this time. It (air quality) is already loaded (with dust), but stubble burning is the trigger. It becomes the main villain," the court said, adding that besides stubble burning, dust and construction debris also contribute towards the poor air quality.

While bringing stubble burning to a complete halt "will take time", the governments should at least try to enforce the regulations like mitigating construction dust generation, which can be done easily.

The bench was hearing a PIL initiated by it in 2015 on the issue of poor air quality in the national capital.

The Centre, represented by advocate Ajay Digpaul, told the bench the Environment Ministry has held meetings with all stakeholders and the issue of stubble burning was reviewed.

It also submitted that it was monitoring the burning of agricultural waste through satellite imagery provided by the respective state governments.

The Punjab government, meanwhile, has filed an affidavit before the court, claiming it has prohibited indiscriminate burning of agricultural waste in the entire state.

It also said it was complying with all the directions issued by the court in its September 22 order.

Tags: national capital region, delhi smog, air pollution, delhi high court, arvind kejriwal
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi