The Centre on Wednesday proposed a slew of measures before the Supreme Court including a ban on entry of all trucks in the national capital except vehicles carrying essential goods, shutting of schools and enforcing 50 per cent attendance in offices of GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) to reduce air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
Taking note of the Centre's submissions, the Supreme Court directed Delhi and NCR states to comply with these decisions which were taken at Tuesday's meeting to curb air pollution.
A Bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Suraya Kant was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, who sought directions to provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free.
The stubble burning by farmers in Haryana, Punjab and other neighboring states, as claimed by the Delhi Government, has been one of the causes for severe air pollution and fog in the national capital.
The Bench posted the matter for hearing on November 24 after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that various steps are being taken and urged the Court not to pass any extreme orders. Mehta told the Bench that a meeting of Chief Secretaries of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi along with others was held on Tuesday.
The issue regarding work from home for Central Government officers was considered but the total vehicles used for central government officers are not huge. "So rather than implementing work from home we have issued an advisory for pooling and sharing of vehicles," Mehta told the Bench.
The Centre suggested 50 per cent attendance in offices of the GNCTD. Delhi-NCR recorded its air quality in the very poor category on Wednesday morning and no major improvement is likely until Sunday, authorities said.
Earlier, the Central Government had filed an affidavit stating that stubble burning contributes only 4 percent in air pollution in Delhi in winters while 7 percent in summers. The Centre cited scientific data behind its conclusion. The Bench also was of the view that the major causes of air pollution in Delhi are industries, vehicular traffic, power generation and construction while the stubble burning is a minor reason.
With PTI inputs