Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre, the Delhi government and three states — Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab — on a plea seeking to curb rising pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR). A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra issued notice to ministries of home affairs and health, the Delhi government, the municipal corporation of Delhi, and the three states, asking them what “immediate and emergent steps” can be taken to control the deteriorating air pollution in Delhi, which has reached unbearable levels, and also in controlling the road dust pollution which is the major contributor of PM 10 and PM 2.5.
The apex court, however, refused to direct the Delhi government to reconsider its decision to implement the odd-even formula, saying that the matter is already pending before the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The plea filed by lawyer RK Kapoor has claimed that rise in dust particles on roads and stubble burning in Delhi’s neighbouring states like Haryana and Punjab has led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas. He also sought a direction to the authorities to promote solar energy and use of electric vehicles as an alternative to check pollution.
“The efficient indigenous built e-rickshaws should be encouraged and point-to-point electric operated vehicles of small sizes should be provided, the petition said, adding that appropriate penalty should be imposed on the polluting vehicles and in particular government vehicles. Besides, seeking effective implementation of the odd-even car rationing scheme, the PIL said the Centre and the states should work together to come out with measures to curb road dust and stubble burning. “Vacuum cleaners should be used by the government since dust particles on account of excessive dust on the roads are one of the major causes of air pollution. Sufficient measures should be taken to control dust pollution at construction sites and penalty measures should be imposed against the violators,” Kapoor stated.