SC summons chief secretaries of four states on air pollution in Delhi

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NEW DELHI: Taking note of toxic air choking the national capital, the Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Delhi government over delay in tackling pollution and summoned chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi over stubble burning that add to the problem in Delhi.

 

Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta observed that the governments in these states have failed to take necessary steps in curbing pollution levels and has yet again sought personal presence of the Chief Secretaries of these States on November 29. They have also been asked to file an affidavit on steps taken by them so far by November 25.

The court intervention came as thick layer of smog continued to engulf Delhi for the fourth consecutive day on Friday.

"Delhi is suffering badly, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is almost 600 even today. How do people breathe?" the Supreme Court asked the Delhi government. "Odd-Even may not be the solution to control air pollution," the Supreme Court said, according to an India Today report.

The Central Pollution Control Board told the Supreme Court that while cars were contributing 3 per cent to pollution levels in Delhi, all vehicles combined contributed 28 per cent.

Taking cognizance of the board report, the Supreme Court said, "Odd-even may not be a permanent solution, especially when the CPCB says cars constitute 3 per cent of pollution levels. Garbage dumping, construction wastes and road dust are also major contributors to pollution levels."

Meanwhile, Times of India reported that top officials of the environment ministry, DDA and municipal commissioners stayed away from a key meeting of a parliamentary panel held here on Friday on the issue of severe pollution in the national capital.

The report quoting sources said that the members of the parliamentary panel present at the meeting upset with those absent and plan to raise the issue with the Speaker.

The national capital is battling alarming levels of air pollution for the past few weeks. The air quality further deteriorated in the last four days, forcing authorities to shut schools for two days.

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