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SC Issues Notices to Centre, States Over Stubble Burning

Schools in Delhi-NCR will remain shut till Sunday, 12 November. 

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The air quality in several areas of the National Capital region have breached hazardous levels. 
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Sunday brought little respite to Delhiites, as air quality remained in the ‘severe’ category in several parts of the city for the sixth consecutive day.

With the capital now facing a health emergency, the AAP government has taken a number of measures to fight pollution. Primary schools have been ordered to be closed until Sunday, and outdoor activities for children have been banned.

Snapshot
  • All schools in Delhi-NCR will remain closed till Sunday
  • Delhi Metro already running extra trips
  • No industrial activities in Delhi till 14 November, ban on trucks carrying construction materials in Delhi-NCR, NGT orders
    US-based United Airlines temporarily suspends flights to New Delhi
  • The Indian Medical Association has declared the smog a “public health emergency”
4:37 PM , 13 Nov

SC Has Issued Notice to the Centre, and the Punjab, Haryana and UP Governments

The Supreme court has issued notices to the Centre as well as the state governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh over pollution caused by stubble burning and construction activities. While hearing the plea, the Supreme Court also said that it would not interfere in the Odd-Even matter and that the National Green Tribunal could keep hearing the case. The court also observed that it was an emergency like situation and sought expeditious action.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that there won't be any stay on matters pertaining to pollution which are going on before any other court. The court also pushed for promotion of solar energy and electric vehicles in order to tackle pollution. The plea filed by lawyer RK Kapoor has sought directions to the Centre and the states concerned to take measures on curbing road dust and stubble burning along with effective implementation of the odd-even scheme.

12:33 PM , 13 Nov

Supreme Court to Hear Air Pollution Matter Today

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a fresh plea seeking to curb rising pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of lawyer R K Kapoor that the rise in dust particles on roads and stubble burning in Delhi's neighbouring states like Haryana and Punjab have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas.

"We cannot ignore the pollution," the bench said adding that it will hear the plea today itself after finishing the matters listed on its board.

The fresh plea seeks direction to the Centre and the states concerned to take measures on curbing road dust and stubble burning.

It also seeks effective implementation of the odd-even car rationing scheme.

8:48 PM , 12 Nov

Both Private and Government Schools in Gurugram to Remain Shut

All schools in Gurugram will remain closed on Monday, 13 November, due to the continuing smog situation, ANI reported.

8:04 AM , 12 Nov
KEY EVENT

Delhi's 'Gas Chamber' Smog Continues on Sunday

While the Delhi government grapples with ‘Odd-Even’ and how best to implement it, Sunday has come around with no improvement in the air quality. Saturday afternoon saw a drop in particulate matter quantity, but the same soon shot up again on Sunday.

At 9:00 AM, particulate matter (PM) 10 Average Levels were recorded at 671 micro grams/m3 Counter, while PM 2.5 Average Levels were recorded at 441.7 micro grams/m3 Counter. In Delhi’s Lodhi Road area, PM 10 levels were at 560, and PM 2.5 at 625. In Noida, PM 10 levels were at 551, and PM 2.5 levels at 541. The air quality is categorised as ‘severe’, when pollution level hits 401 or above, in the Air Quality Index (AQI).

The city's air quality worsened ahead of winter as cooler air traps pollutants near the ground, preventing them from dispersing into the atmosphere.

As the pollution has hit 70 times the WHO's safe limit, doctors have suggested people to wear N90 masks whenever they go out, as exposure to air pollution can lead to cancer and heart disease.

A jogger at the India Gate, Shubhankar Tomar, told ANI, "Today the fog is back. Yesterday, there was not much. The government should take an initiative to resolve this deadly situation." Another jogger said, "We are facing breathing problems now. We are taking precautions to protect ourselves from respiratory problems."

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has also issued an advisory, asking citizens to drink plenty of water and avoid areas with smoke or heavy dust.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified four reasons for the sudden onset of pollution – temperature, wind speed, relative humidity and atmospheric boundary layer – for the worsening Delhi air.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned construction, one source of particulate matter pollution, in the region through 14 November, whereas truck and car travel has also been limited. To this end, trucks and heavy vehicles were barred from entering into Delhi on Saturday night.


Published: 08 Nov 2017, 1:32 PM IST
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