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Lame excuses, come back with exact figures': Supreme Court tells Delhi govt

Lame excuses, come back with exact figures': Supreme Court tells Delhi govt

In an affidavit filed in Supreme Court on Monday, the Delhi government said it is "ready to take steps like complete lockdown to control the local emissions. However, such a step would be meaningful if it is implemented across the NCR & neighbouring states."

Delhi recorded a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 330 on Sunday compared to 437 the previous day as emissions from farm fires in Haryana and Punjab dropped significantly. The AQI was around 471 on Friday, the worst this season so far. Delhi recorded a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 330 on Sunday compared to 437 the previous day as emissions from farm fires in Haryana and Punjab dropped significantly. The AQI was around 471 on Friday, the worst this season so far.

On Monday's hearing, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Delhi government pointing out that "lame excuses" being made by them on the issue of air pollution in the national capital would compel them to audit their revenues. 


In an affidavit filed in Supreme Court on Monday, the Delhi government said it is "ready to take steps like complete lockdown to control the local emissions. However, such a step would be meaningful if it is implemented across the NCR & neighbouring states." 


The Supreme Court, however, said that the government's response was "very unfortunate" and asked them to return with exact figures. "Governments keep filing affidavits, but nothing happens. Then when we intervene it's said we are "overreaching," the apex court observed.


The SC has also asked that if Delhi itself is responsible for 75 per cent of the pollution, what has the government done so far?


The apex court further asked the government to pursue and not force the farmers to stop stubble burning for at least a week.


The Supreme Court was hearing the Delhi government's proposal to impose a lockdown to curb air pollution in the national capital.


Delhi recorded a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 330 on Sunday compared to 437 the previous day as emissions from farm fires in Haryana and Punjab dropped significantly. The AQI was around 471 on Friday, the worst this season so far.


On Sunday, the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) identified five different areas contributing to the poor air quality — paddy stubble burning, dust from construction and demolition (C&D) activities dust from roads and open areas; vehicles, and industries.


Earlier on Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that schools in Delhi would be closed for a week starting on Monday. The decision was taken to ensure that children do not breathe polluted air. Neighbouring Haryana, too, has shut schools in four districts owing to high pollution.


All government offices, agencies and autonomous bodies, except those involved in essential services, have been directed to ask employees to work from home. No construction and demolition activity are allowed in the capital till November 17.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality forecasting agency SAFAR said transport-level winds are "slowing down resulting in lesser intrusion of farm fires-related pollutants into Delhi".


Over 3,400 farm fires accounted for 12 per cent of Delhi's PM2.5 pollution on Sunday, down from 31 per cent on Saturday. The share of stubble burning in Delhi's pollution ranged from 25 per cent to 48 per cent from November 4 to November 13.  According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality forecasting agency SAFAR also pointed out that air quality is likely to deteriorate from the night of November 16 due to calm wind conditions. On November 17, it is likely to be in the upper end of the very poor category, the agency said.