The Supreme Court on Monday, 25 November, pulled up the state of Haryana and Punjab for not controlling stubble burning in the state.“Because you (Punjab) are not able to implement measures does not mean people in NCR should die and suffer from cancer,” observed Justice Arun Mishra, coming down heavily on the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in the state.Delhi's air quality was recorded in the 'poor' category on 25 November morning and is likely to improve owing to light rains predicted later in the day.Centre informed Lok Sabha on 22 Nov that India produces 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste everydaySchools reopened on Monday, 18 November, after they were closed due to hazardous air qualityThe Supreme Court pulled up the chief secretaries of UP, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana over air pollutionThe National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government to immediately shut down 4,774 industrial units running in residential areas.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel passed the order after perusing a report filed by an Oversight Committee, headed by former judge Justice Pratibha Rani, which said that show cause notices have been issued to 4,774 industries located in residential areas in different municipal corporations.Delhi Chief Secretary, however, told the NGT that show cause procedure is unnecessary in view of the orders of the Supreme Court. “Thus, show cause notice to 4,774 was wrongly issued instead of straightway such units being closed.”National Green Tribunal (NGT) OrderThe Supreme Court, on Monday 25 November, issued notice to all the States and Union Territories, seeking their response within six weeks on why they should not be made liable to pay compensation to people for not providing clean drinking water and air.The Supreme Court also asked for a report from the CPCB and the concerned states on the steps taken to check pollution in rivers as well.The SC termed the stubble burning an alarming situation, and said that not only the state machinery but the farmers are also responsible for it. The apex court asked the Centre to take a concrete decision within 10 days on having smog towers in Delhi-NCR to combat air pollution. The Supreme Court also pulled up the Haryana Chief Secretary, who said that he has been working day and night to fight pollution.However, the SC asked why Delhi NCR should suffer AQI 1000 when the AQI in Haryana was 200. “You (Haryana government) had done a good job earlier in controlling stubble burning, but now it has increased. Punjab & Haryana are not doing anything.”SC to Haryana GovernmentThe Supreme Court on Monday, 25 November, pulled up the State of Punjab for not controlling stubble burning in the state.“Because you (Punjab) are not able to implement measures does not mean people in NCR should die and suffer from cancer,” observed Justice Arun Mishra, coming down heavily on the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in the state.Delhi's air quality was recorded in the 'poor' category on Monday morning and is likely to improve owing to light rains predicted later in the day.According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), Delhi's air quality index was 218 at 9.10 am. The overall air quality index in the city was 254 at 9.45 am on Sunday.Pollution levels in Delhi-NCR dropped further on Sunday with moderate winds sweeping the region.The overall air quality index (AQI) in the national capital read 234 at 4 pm, down from 312 at 4 pm on Friday.More than five lakh litres of water was sprinkled at 13 pollution hotspots in Delhi over the past two days to hold down dust, a Delhi Fire Services (DFS) official said on Sunday, PTI reported.The exercise was initiated on Saturday following orders from the Delhi government on checking dust pollution in the city.The 13 hotspots where water was sprinkled were Rohini, Dwarka, Okhla Phase II, Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, Vivek Vihar, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, RK Puram, Bawana, Narela, Mundka and Mayapuri.Delhi recorded a further improvement in the air quality on Sunday morning, 24 November, due to slight increase in wind speed.The overall air quality index in the city read 254 at 9:45 am, down from 312 at 4 pm on Saturday.Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) recorded a marginal improvement in the air quality on Saturday due to a slight increase in wind speed.However, pollution is expected to increase again from Monday due to a dip in wind speed under the influence of a fresh western disturbance.Delhiites are in for relatively cleaner air this week, scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said, according to Hindustan Times. Strong winds improved air quality on Saturday and pollution levels are likely to continue improving till 26 November.IMD scientists said that the AQI is expected to settle in the ‘poor’ zone on Sunday.“Wind speed has been improving and the effect can be seen in the air quality. On Sunday, too, the winds will be around 20 kmph, strong enough to disperse pollutants,” Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre, told Hindustan Times.“Harvest season is almost over, so the impact of crop stubble burning in Delhi’s air will also go down slowly,” a System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) scientist said.India generates more than 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste everyday, 40 per cent of which remains uncollected and littered in the environment, the Centre informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.In a written response to a question in the Lower House, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the demand of plastic has increased significantly due its increased use in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, which has indirectly resulted into the challenge of plastic waste management.Delhi-NCR saw a surge in the number of masked faces on Thursday, 21 November, as pollution levels inched towards the 'severe' zone due to calm winds, low temperature and high humidity, officials said.Accumulated pollutants took the form of a haze, thick enough to draw a veil across the sun, which left people with itchy eyes, headache and breathing problems.Experts said the situation is likely to worsen in the next 24 hours, while some relief is expected on Saturday.The National Green Tribunal slammed the Delhi government's awareness activities to tackle noise pollution, saying they were inadequate in terms of quality and quantity.The green panel said that steps should be properly planned and coordinated and an yearly action plan covering different thematic areas of environmental problems needs to be clearly identified.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel also said that penalty for bursting crackers needs to be revised, reported PTI.The Congress accused the governments at the Centre and in Delhi of turning the national capital from the “greenest” to “most polluted in the world” in the last five years.Former Delhi Congress president and Transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely alleged that the air pollution crisis in the city was due to the inability of the Kejriwal government to boost public transport buses, reported PTI.Bhagwant Mann, Aam Aadmi Party leader in the Lok Sabha said, “The government has put MSP on the crop which gives out stubble. No farmer in Punjab wants to burn the stubble. He has no other option.”“The contribution to the pollution in Delhi is firstly because of cars, and then because of industries. Then for a period of time comes Diwali. Why is the discussion on pollution only during those days? There should be discussion post Diwali period as well,” said BJP MP Surendra Singh Nagar.Talking about the stubble burning issue, he said, “We can't blame the farmers, we can't file FIR against them, we should provide them technology and assistance instead.”As BJP MP Vijay Goel took his time to discuss the issue to point fingers at the Delhi government, the Upper House of the parliament burst into an uproar, as Opposition demanded the BJP leader does not engage in blame-game and discuss the issue of ‘National Importance’.Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, speaking in the Parliament, said that the Modi government has undertaken several initiatives to control air pollution in Delhi NCR.He added that a high-level task force was constituted and regular review meetings are held.“A comprehensive air plan for Delhi-NCR has been developed identifying the timelines and implementing agencies for actions delineated. Centre has notified a graded response action plan for Delhi-NCR for different levels of pollution.”Prakash JavadekarA farmer was arrested and 15 others were fined for burning crop residue in their fields in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district, officials said on Thursday.Tara Chand was arrested after he was found burning crop residue in his fields in Margub Garh village under Thanabhawan police station, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Sandeep Kumar said.A case has been registered against him under section 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health) of the Indian Penal Code, he said.During the checking, 15 farmers in Shamli's Kairana tehsil were fined Rs 2,500 each for stubble burning, Kumar said.In the neighbouring Muzaffarnagar district, a farmer, Sunil Kumar, was booked for stubble burning on Wednesday.Air quality in many parts of Delhi and the national capital region turned severe on Thursday due to calm winds and high humidity.The overall air quality index in the national capital was 356 at 9:30 am on Thursday.The AQI at Rohini (411), Anand Vihar (411) and Bawana (404) entered the severe zone in the morning.According to the India Meteorological Department, very low wind speed and high humidity due to a shallow fog in the morning led to accumulation of pollutants.A senior IMD scientist said the air quality is expected to remain severe on Thursday and Friday.The air quality is likely to be in the bad to a very bad category on Wednesday, 20 November, and is likely to worsen even further in the next two days in the Delhi and NCR region, according to private forecaster Skymet Weather.According to weather experts from Skymet, the reason behind this is a western disturbance on the western side of Himalayas which is going to impact the flow of air in Delhi-NCR regions.The reduced flow of air is likely to lead to an increase in the accumulation of pollutants in the region and on 21 November and 22 November when the situation could worsen even further.Apart from Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad, and Ghaziabad too are going to be impacted by the worsening air quality.Sixteen farmers have been arrested for allegedly burning stubble and two lekhpals suspended for dereliction of duty in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura district, officials said on Tuesday.District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Mishra said a total fine of Rs 13.05 lakh is being realized from the guilty farmers through tahsil.While 300 cases of stubble burning have been identified, two lekhapals (revenue officer) have been suspended for failing to prevent the farmers from burning their crop residue, the DM told reporters.Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh wore a mask in the Parliament during a debate on pollution in the Lok Sabha.“ When we have a 'Swachh Bharat mission', can't we have a 'Swachh hawa mission'? Shouldn't we be ensured the right to breath clean air? In Delhi we might be staring at a situation of mass asphyxia,” she said.Several MPs were missing at the Lok Sabha on Tuesday even as the crucial issue of pollution was being discussed.Speaking in the Parliament, Congress MP Manish Tewari recommended setting up of a Standing Committee on pollution and climate change.“Just like there are standing committees such as Committee on Public Undertakings and Estimates Committee, there should be a committee to look into pollution and climate change,” he said.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, 18 November, declared that the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme will not be extended in the city.“The sky is clear now, so there is no need of it,” announced Kejriwal, addressing a press conference.The air quality in Delhi improved marginally on Monday, 18 November, but remained in the "poor" category for the second consecutive day.At 9 am on Monday, the air quality index (AQI) in the national capital stood at 207 against an AQI of 254 at the same time on Sunday.However, there was a respite on late Sunday evening as the AQI dropped to 198, which falls under "moderate" category.Schools in Delhi-NCR reopened on Monday, 18 November, after being closed for two days due to rise in pollution levels, according to ANI.Over 70 per cent parents in Delhi and NCR believe there should be a scheduled "smog break" in schools from November 1–20 every year, according to a new survey.The survey with nearly 10,000 respondents from Delhi and NCR region has also found that parents want that leaves of the smog break could be compensated with reduction of leaves from the summer, winter and spring breaks combined to ensure the study calendar is not affected."74 per cent parents from Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Gurgaon want there should be a scheduled smog break from November 1-20 every year when the air quality is at its worse," according to findings of the survey done by online platform "LocalCircles".(Source: PTI)The air quality in the capital improved over the weekend as the stubble burning season came to a close. The AQI has been below 200 in most places in Delhi-NCR region.In a tweet, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also pointed out the correlation between stubble burning and poor air quality that persisted through the first week of October till mid-November.Delhi Development Authority Vice Chairman Tarun Kapoor inspected the projects and infrastructure in Dwarka to check pollution levels, officials told PTI. A team of officers led by Kapoor inspected the DDA projects and infrastructure in Dwarka.During the visit, the DDA officers were directed to take steps, including clearing the debris lying on roads, cleaning the footpaths, and clearing of construction and demolition (C&D) waste, the officials added.They were also directed to prevent generation of dust, cover sites undergoing construction and use of water sprinklers to the prevent spread of dust.A farmer was arrested and nine others were booked in Gautam Buddh Nagar for allegedly burning crop residue in Greater Noida in violation of the National Green Tribunal guidelines, the district administration said on Saturday.A farmer was arrested on Saturday after he was found burning stubble in Dayantpur village in Jewar area of the district, Deputy Collector Gunja Singh said.He was arrested under section 151 (arrest to prevent the commission of cognisable offences) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) after efforts by the administration and the locals to convince him against burning the crop residue went in vain, she said.Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Ambassador Hans Dannenberg Castellanos has expressed concern over the poor air quality in Delhi and said the odd-even road rationing scheme is a good start, but working closely with farmers in Punjab on the issue of crop residue burning should also be strongly considered, reported PTI.Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal hit out at the government over the pollution crisis in Delhi, saying the Centre should have paid as much attention to poor air quality as it did in dealing with Article 370.“Nature is punishing us for our own misdemeanours. We have ourselves jeopardised our fundamental right to breathe. Forget odd prescriptions. Let's be even in our solutions,” Sibal said in a tweet, in an apparent swipe at the Delhi government's odd-even road rationing scheme.“Was the politics behind Article 370 more important than our right to breathe clean air? Our Government should have paid as much attention to air pollution as it did in dealing with Article 370,” the former Union minister said, referring to the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in August and the steps taken by the central government following that action.Nepal Ambassador to India Nilambar Acharya called on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed co-operation between the two countries in the field of tourism.Acharya was accompanied by Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri.(Source: PTI)The Congress hit out at the Centre over the issue of rising pollution in Delhi-NCR and asked what has Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his office done to address this “very critical emergency.”Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, while responding to a question on four MPs of a 28-member parliamentary panel attending a key meeting to discuss the air pollution crisis in Delhi-NCR today, said it is not just about one committee meeting, but about the serious situation prevailing in the city, reported PTI.The Supreme Court, on Friday, summoned chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to know about the steps taken by them to reduce air pollution in Delhi-NCR.A Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said effective steps must be taken and 13 pollution hotspots in Delhi should be cleared of pollutants.The apex court questioned the Delhi government over granting exemptions, including to two- and three-wheelers, during its Odd-Even Scheme and said that pollution level in Delhi is increasing in spite of the vehicle rotation scheme being in force.It also expressed concern over pollution levels worsening in Delhi despite a reduction in stubble burning. 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