New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it is not in favour of work from home for its employees in New Delhi, adding that it has advised them to "resort to carpooling to reduce the number of vehicles used by them for commuting". In an affidavit, the Centre said that the number of vehicles used by the government "is a minuscule fraction of the total vehicles in the national capital and stopping their plying would not make much impact towards improving the air quality of Delhi". 

It also pointed out the directives issued by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) which also includes a ban on the entry of trucks in Delhi-NCR till November 21. "... In the recent past, several governmental functions were impacted due to COVID-19 pandemic for substantially a long period of time which entailed pan India ramifications," the affidavit read.

Centre's affidavit comes a day after the CAQM issued directives to control air pollution in Delhi and its nearby areas. In its directions, the CAQM said all schools and colleges will remain shut in Delhi-NCR till further notice while government offices will work at their 50 per cent strength. The CAQM also banned all construction activities and the entry of trucks, except for those dealing in essential services, till November 21.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had on Monday had pulled the Centre over the lack of steps in dealing with air pollution in the NCR. The top court bench head by Chief Justice NV Ramana blamed construction activities and vehicular traffic for causing pollution, asking the Centre to take necessary steps to deal with the crisis and hold an emergency meeting with the secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

"Even though some decisions were taken by the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act it has not indicated precisely what steps they are going to take to control factors that are causing air pollution," the bench said, as reported by news agency PTI. "So far as the stubble burning is concerned, broadly affidavits state that their contribution is not so much except for two months. However, at present a good amount of stubble burning is taking place in Haryana and Punjab".

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma