Supreme Court directs centre to call an emergency meeting to control air pollution; asks states to consider work from home

The Supreme Court court today directed the centre to call an emergency meeting of states and other authorities tomorrow to chalk out immediate steps to reduce the toxic smog in National Capital Region and said it would hear the matter again on Wednesday. The Apex Court also directed that the  Centre and states should consider work-from-home for their employees in and around Delhi and farmers should be persuaded to not burn farm waste to cut down pollution. A special bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant was hearing a plea by a 17-year-old Delhi student Aditya Dubey concerning rising levels of air pollution in the Capital.

Earlier, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that a lockdown would be the most drastic measure taken to curb air pollution in the National Capital Region. The other measures that could be taken would be an odd-even scheme for vehicular movement and a ban on the entry of trucks into the capital. The Central government’s suggestions came in response to the Bench’s assertion that the situation was emergent and measures were required to be immediately taken to reduce levels of pollution. During the hearing, the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta submitted that stubble burning was not the major cause of pollution and was only contributing to 10%. He further submitted that road dust naturally contributed to pollution. Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government reiterated that a lockdown may be imposed but due to lack of air boundaries, the entire NCR would need to be locked down as a whole.

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