The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the federal government and states should explore allowing their employees in and around Delhi to work from home, and farmers should be convinced not to burn farm waste to reduce pollution.
Here are the top 10 points on this big story:
- The court also ordered the centre to convene an emergency conference of states and other authorities on Tuesday to devise rapid measures to minimise hazardous smog, and said it would revisit the case the next day.
- The Supreme Court slammed the Delhi government for making “lame excuses” and “passing the blame,” and demanded immediate action rather than long-term goals, calling the capital’s air pollution a “crisis.”
- Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that farm waste burning accounted for only 10% of total emissions on average over the course of the year.
- The Delhi administration told the court in an affidavit submitted before the hearing that it was prepared to take procedures such as a complete lockdown to combat air pollution, but it would have a limited effect. Similar limitations will be required in Delhi’s neighbouring areas, which are part of the National Capital Region (NCR), according to the report.
- “To limit local pollution, the Delhi administration is prepared to adopt drastic measures such as complete lockdown. However, if adopted across the NCR areas in neighbouring states, such a step would be significant. Because of Delhi’s small size, a lockdown would have a minor influence on the city’s air quality “According to the affidavit.
- Delhi said no physical lessons will be held in schools this week, and government personnel would work from home, citing the steps taken so far. Work From Home has also been recommended for private offices. For three days, construction sites will be closed.
- Chief Justice NV Ramana, who heard the case on Saturday, had requested the federal government to develop an emergency strategy to combat the harmful smog, describing the situation as “extremely critical.”
- The Chief Justice, in requesting a statement from the centre and the states by Monday, said: “Tell us how you intend to handle the emergency situation. Lockdown for two days? What is your strategy for reducing the AQI (Air Quality Index)? “
- Due to crop stubble burning, emissions from transportation, coal-fired plants outside the city and other industries, as well as open waste burning and dust, air quality in Delhi, which is frequently regarded as the world’s most polluted capital, has deteriorated.
- Despite being in the “extremely poor” category, Delhi’s air quality improved on Sunday, with a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 330 compared to 437 the day before, as emissions from field fires in Haryana and Punjab decreased dramatically. On Friday, the AQI was 471, the lowest of the season so far.
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