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Air pollution: SC trashes Delhi's affidavit on air pollution, says it can't pass buck to MC

The Supreme Court directed the Centre to call for an emergency meeting on November 15 over issues like stopping construction, non-essential transport, power plants and implementing work from home to deal with air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

By Rajan Nath -- November 15, 2021 11:11 am -- Updated:Feb 15, 2021

Delhi Air Quality: The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Delhi government over rising air pollution in the national capital, saying that it's passing the buck to Municipal Commissioner. The top court while perusing the Delhi government's affidavit said that the affidavit was all about bashing farmers and how the entire cause was stubble burning.

"This kind of lame excuse will force us to hold an audit of the revenue you are earning and spend on popularity slogans," said the top court. "We are already handling cases where the Delhi government has apparently not given money to the MCD for employees' salaries. And you are passing the buck to them," said Justice Surya Kant. "Are you trying to put the blame on municipal corporations?" the Chief Justice of India asked Delhi government.

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"We can't do this every day, you cannot take so much time," the CJI said, asking "What steps are you taking? Forget affidavits." "Road dust. What are you doing on that?" he added. The apex court observed that the major cause of air pollution in Delhi are dust, heavy vehicular traffic, and industries'; says if timely steps are taken by the government, pollution can be kept to manageable levels.

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It also told the Centre and State Govt that this was not how an executive emergency meeting was expected to be held. It said that "it's very unfortunate that we have to set an agenda for them." Furthermore, it asked the committee created to decide on the action plan by November 15 evening.

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Meanwhile, the top court asked the Centre and State Government to respond by Tuesday evening "over which industries can be stopped, which vehicles can be prevented from plying and which power plants can be stopped, and how you can provide alternative power by then."

It concluded that major culprits of air pollution in Delhi are transport, industries, vehicular traffic apart from stubble burning in some areas. The Supreme Court directed the Centre to call for an emergency meeting on November 15 over issues like stopping construction, non-essential transport, power plants and implementing work from home to deal with air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

The matter has been adjourned for November 17. The top court has also asked the Chief secretaries of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana to be present for an emergency meeting by the Centre called on November 15.

-PTC News

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