The Supreme Court, during a hearing on a public interest litigation on the worrying situation in Delhi due to air pollution, today said the weather department has informed that the air quality will become worse again. “We can’t go with wind direction. What steps should be taken?” it asked the centre.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the centre, said the air quality is expected to improve. “We will review the situation after three days,” he added.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, who is representing the petitioner, told the Supreme Court that there was a media report that says that no fines are being imposed (on farmers) because of elections in Punjab. “We can’t micromanage on imposing fines,” the court replied.
The Supreme Court will hear the case next on November 29.
During a previous hearing, the court had asked the centre and state governments to comply with all the measures declared by the Commission for Air Quality Management. It had also observed that TV debates are causing more air pollution than anything else and everybody has their own agenda while hearing cases relating to increasing air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
A bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant heard the plea today.
Delhi’s air quality slipped into the very poor category this morning as low temperatures and slow surface winds allowed accumulation of pollutants. The city’s air quality index (AQI) read 357 at 9 am.
Here are the Live Updates on Delhi Air Pollution hearing:
Supreme Court says action to control pollution has to be taken in advance. “Why should Delhiites suffer from air poor quality?”
“We are not going to close this case. Even if pollution goes down now, we will continue to hear this case and issue directions. Take the measures for next three days. We will hear it again on Monday. In the meantime if situation improves, lift some bans,” the court adds.
Air pollution in Delhi-NCR | Supreme Court says it will not close the air pollution case and give final orders. SC further adds that due to the seriousness of the issue it will continue to hear this matter.
– ANI (@ANI) November 24, 2021
“This is the national capital. Look at the signal we are sending to the world,” the Supreme Court says.
“You have to predict the situation based on statistics… and take action in anticipation so that the situation does not go severe,” it adds.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says, “We take steps as soon as we are in severe situation so that it doesn’t go to severe plus.”
There is a need to define what is the acceptable level of AQI for Delhi, the court says. “Now there are super computers. There needs to be a statistical model.”
Supreme Court says, “The Air Quality commission should conduct a scientific study based on the wind directed. These ad-hoc measures won’t help. What are the steps you will take and the impact of that in next seven days is what we want. The study has to be science based.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says, “I have listed immediate steps. There are long term plans also. We have come up with graded measures.”
There are a lot of expectations that the court is monitoring… and air pollution will come down, the Supreme Court replied. “Now labours have come to us to allow construction activities.”
“We will review the situation after three days. We are monitoring everyday,” the lawyer says.
“What if the situation worsens by then? Restrictions have to come automatically,” the court says.
Supreme Court asks if the weather department has predicted anything on the air quality of Delhi and nearby areas.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the centre, says the air quality is expected to improve. “We will review the situation after three days,” he adds.
There is a media report that says that because of elections in Punjab, no fines are being imposed (to control pollution), senior advocate Vikas Singh told the Supreme Court.
“We can’t micromanage on imposing fines,” the court replied.
Mr Singh added: “Incentives have not been paid to the farmers also. They have done nothing.”
Air pollution in Delhi NCR: Senior adv Vikas Singh appearing for petitioner tells SC that as per a media report this year due to polls in Punjab fines not being imposed to please farmers. SC says it isn’t concerned with this issue & it can’t micromanage such things
– ANI (@ANI) November 24, 2021
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Centre says the air quality index on November 16 was 403 and today it is 260.
The Supreme Court said it’s because of the wind. “The weather department says it will become worse again. We can’t go with wind direction. What steps should be taken?”
Mr Mehta says construction restrictions have not been lifted in Delhi.
Delhi’s air quality slipped into the very poor category on this morning as low temperatures and slow surface winds allowed accumulation of pollutants. The city’s air quality index (AQI) read 357 at 9 am.
According to the India Meteorological Department, Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 9.2 degrees Celsius, the lowest this season so far. The maximum temperature is likely to settle around 27 degrees Celsius.
Strong winds on Sunday and Monday had led to an improvement in the air quality.
The 24-hour average AQI read 290 on Tuesday, the second best AQI reading this month since November 1 (281). Delhi has seen very poor or severe air quality on the rest of the days.
While hearing a plea relating to air pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas last week, the Supreme Court had said debates on TV news channels are causing more pollution than anybody with statements made in the court being taken out of context.
The observation of the bench came as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the centre raised the issue over television debates which claimed that he had misled the court on the contribution of stubble burning to air pollution.
The court had said everyone has their own agenda and statements are taken out of context in these debates.