Stubble burning contributes just 10% to Delhi’s air pollution: Centre tells SC; suggests three ways

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Updated: November 15, 2021 12:53 PM

The apex court also has blamed the Delhi government for solely focusing stubble-burning as the cause of pollution in its affidavit.

The apex court also has blamed the Delhi government for solely focusing stubble-burning as the cause of pollution in its affidavit.

The Centre told the Supreme Court that stubble burning was not the major cause of pollution in Delhi as it contributed to only 10 per cent of capital’s dirty air. In its hearing on the Delhi pollution crisis, the Supreme Court asked the Centre, “Do you agree that stubble burning is not the main cause?” To this, the central government agreed.

At least 74 per cent pollution caused due to industries, dust and vehicles in the city, the Centre said. The apex court also has blamed the Delhi government for solely focusing stubble-burning as the cause of pollution in its affidavit.

“The affidavit filed by respondents and after hearing we come to the conclusion the major culprits of pollution are construction activity, industry, tansport, power and vehicular traffic apart from stubble burning in some parts. Even though some decisions were taken by the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act has not indicated precisely what steps they are going to take to control factors that are causing air pollution.

“In view of that, we direct the government of India to a call for an emergency meeting tomorrow and discuss the areas which we indicated and what orders they can pass to effectively control air pollution. So far, as stubble burning is concerned, broadly affidavits state that their contribution is not so much except for two months. However, at present a good amount of stubble burning is taking place in Haryana and Punjab,” the bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant said.

The Centre also suggested three steps to bring the rising levels of air pollution in the national capital which include the introduction of an odd-even vehicle scheme, a ban on trucks’ entry in Delhi and the severest – lockdown. 

The top court has directed the Centre to call an emergency meeting on Tuesday to take measures like stopping non-essential construction transport, power plants and implementing work from home. A bench, headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, directed the concerned secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab and Delhi to attend the meeting to make their submissions before the committee formed by it.

Ahead of the hearing on air pollution in Delhi-NCR, the AAP government told the Supreme Court that it was ready to take steps like complete lockdown to control air pollution. The Delhi government told the top court that such a step, however, would be meaningful if it is implemented across the NCR areas in neighbouring states.

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