The apex court on monday served notice to the state governments of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab on a plea seeking immediate measures to curb rising pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas. The air pollution levels in the national capital and areas across north India has touched alarming proportions forcing authorities to take immediate measures like shutting schools.
Cheif Justice of India Dipak Misra along with justices AY Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud heard the plea and sought their reply on the issue of rising pollution.
The plea, filed by lawyer RK Kapoor has listed issues like direction to Centre and states on stubble burning, road dust and effective implementation of road rationing odd-even car rationing scheme.
The Odd-Even scheme, which was to come in force today, was rolled back last weekend after the National Green Tribunal directed Delhi government to withdraw exemptions given to women drivers and two-wheelers so as to enhance its effectiveness.
The Kejriwal government, however, deferred the move expressing its inability to enforce the measure after as directed by the NGT.
The state government moved NGT today requesting a review of its order. The green panel will hear the matter on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, all schools in the national capital reopened today after a five-day break announced by the Delhi government in view of the alarming air pollution levels. Though in Gurgaon, the authorities announced that the schools will remain closed as for now.
As a thick smog hung over Delhi, leaving people gasping for breath since last week, the government had decided to close schools after it received reports from authorities concerned that the PM 10 level was recorded at “close to severe” air quality.
But after a brief let-up, the pollution levels skyrocketed in Delhi with the air quality becoming hazardous, which environmental agencies consider unfit for inhalation even by healthy people.
The pollution monitoring authorities said there may be some respite from Monday evening as surface winds will gain momentum. The SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) said there was a possibility of rains in the evening of November 14.
However, experts say rains brings temporary relief, but also leads to accumulation of particulates due to high-levels of moisture.
The hourly graph of the Central Control Room for Air Quality Management, which had briefly fallen below emergency levels on Saturday, recorded PM2.5 and PM10 concentration at 478 and 713 microgrammes per cubic metre by afternoon.