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Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Delhi HC slams authorities over severe air pollution

  • HC says the issue of air pollution needs to be realised as collective responsibility
  • Air quality in the Delhi- NCR has deteriorated to 'severe' levels

NEW DELHI : The Delhi High Court on Thursday slammed the governments, various departments and other concerned authorities on the state of air pollution in Delhi. The court made several observations on it.

"The problem lies in implementation and not lack of ideas. There is complete lack of will to implement the same…," a bench comprising Justice G.S. Sistani and Anup Jairam Bhambani said.

"We need to realise the issue of air pollution as collective responsibility," it added.

The court said that an actual effect would only come through if all the stakeholders worked together to solve this.

The court said that no fresh demolition should be allowed till January. The court has further asked the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and other municipal corporations in the city as well as other authorities concerned to take necessary steps to deal with encroachment on the roads. The court said that routine inspections should be done whenever such steps to combat air pollution are taken.

The court was informed by Amicus Curiae in the case, senior advocate Kailash Vasudev, that the measures Singapore took to deal with the problem of stubble burning that happens in Indonesia included water sprinkling on fields and dedicating separate lands for dumping waste. The court said such measures should also be considered in India.

The court will next hear the matter on 2 December. The parties are required to file affidavits on their steps towards implementation of the measure to tackle the problem of air pollution. The court has also asked the Chief Conservator of Forests, Delhi Government to appear in the court on the next date of hearing.

The air quality in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) has deteriorated to 'severe' levels yet again this season, engulfing the region in toxic smog.

As the air pollution in the national capital was on the verge of 'emergency' level, Supreme Court-mandated anti-pollution authority EPCA on Wednesday said that schools in Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad would remain shut till Friday.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has asked people to avoid outdoor exposure in the wake of rising air pollution in the national capital.

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