Delhi HC issues emergency directions to bring down smog

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: View of the Central Park at Rajiv Chowk, enveloped by heavy smog in New Delhi on Wednesday. The smog and air pollution continue to be above the severe levels in Delhi NCR. PTI Photo

New Delhi: View of the Central Park at Rajiv Chowk, enveloped by heavy smog in New Delhi on Wednesday. The smog and air pollution continue to be above the severe levels in Delhi NCR. PTI Photo

The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued several directions to the Delhi government to bring down the high levels of pollution in the city.

A bench comprising of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the state government to immediately consider the option of “cloud seeding” to induce rainfall artificially to bring down the dust and particulate matter in the air.The High Court also directed the state to seriously consider a ban on further construction in the city to the extent possible and implement the ‘odd-even’ vehicle usage scheme as a short term measure.Post the High Court order, the Delhi government decided to implement the odd-even vehicle scheme for a week starting Monday (Nov 13).”What we are facing today has already been faced by London. They call it a pea soup fog. It is a killer. Stubble burning is the visible villain in it, but there are other elephants in the room,” the bench said.Delhi Traffic Police has also been directed by the High Court to ensure that all police personnel on duty are given masks.

The bench also ordered the Union Environment Secretary to hold a meeting in the next three days of the chief secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to work out a joint short-term plan to bring down air pollution.

The court came out with the directions after senior advocate and amicus curiae Kailash Vasdev told the court that emergency steps need to be taken to improve air quality.

The court also recorded the steps proposed by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) in consultation with the Lieutenant Governor.

The proposed steps included increasing parking fees in the city by four times, banning the entry of trucks into Delhi, except those carrying essential commodities, prohibiting construction activities, increasing bus and Metro services, cleaning roads, banning brick-kilns and stopping the use of fire-wood and coal in hotels, DPCC’s lawyer Sanjeev Ralli told the court.

(With inputs from PTI)