'Act Within 24 Hours, Else...': SC Raps Centre, Delhi Govt Over Air Pollution

The court also slammed Delhi government for reopening schools for 'three-year-olds' while adults can work from home.

2 min read
Hindi Female

As the national capital woke up to another day of 'very poor' air quality, the Supreme Court on Thursday, 2 December, rapped the Central and Delhi governments and said that no concrete steps were being taken to improve the air quality.

The court also slammed the state government for reopening schools and said that while adults have the option to work from home, "three-year-olds and four-year-olds are going to schools," according to NDTV.

Citing concerns of "learning loss," senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the state government said that going to schools was optional with online classes.

"But who wants to sit at home? We also have children and grandchildren. We know the problems they have been facing since the pandemic," Chief Justice NV Ramana said, as quoted by NDTV.


'Will Take Steps if You Don't'

"We have to do something extraordinary... we cannot enforce or induce creativity in your bureaucracy, you have to come up with some steps," CJI Ramana told AG Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre, as quoted by IANS.

"If you don't take action we will take strict action tomorrow. We are giving you 24 hours," CJI Ramana said, adding that "If you do not act, we will step in... we have extraordinary steps in mind."

According to IANS, the bench also questioned the utility of having a commission for air quality management, if it ends up having people with no power to enforce decisions.


'Air Quality Remains in Very Poor Category'

According to authorities, Delhi's overall air quality remained in the 'very poor' category on Thursday.

The Delhi government has announced a slew of measures to curb air pollution in the city.

While the Delhi government had earlier shut schools for a few days, the schools were officially allowed to reopen from 29 November.

Following the SC's directions, the Delhi government on 25 November reimposed a ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi.

Delhi's Department of Environment and Forests on 27 November also extended the ban in place on entry of trucks not carrying essential commodities till 30 November.

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