New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Saturday rapped the Centre over the deteriorating air quality in the national capital and said that people in Delhi are forced to wear face masks even at their homes. Hearing a plea on Delhi Air Pollution, an SC bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana termed the situation in Delhi as very serious and asked the Centre to inform it about the steps it has taken to tackle the air pollution in the next hearing on November 15. 

The top court further suggested the Centre for a two days lockdown to tackle air pollution in the national capital and said, "Tell us how we can reduce AQI from 500 at least by 200 points. Take some urgent measures. Can you think of two days lockdown or something? How can people live?", the SC said adding, "You have to look at this issue beyond politics and government. Something must happen so that in two to three days we feel better".

The apex court further told the Centre that air quality in Delhi is in the 'severe' category and in another 2 to 3 days it will dip further and asked it to take an emergency decision which can improve the air quality of Delhi-NCR.

Assuring that steps are being taken to stop stubble burning, a significant factor amid an increase in air pollution, the central government, "We are taking steps to stop stubble burning. But in (the) last five-six days the kind of pollution, we have seen is because of (the) stubble burning in Punjab. The state government needs to buckle up..."

Supreme Court told Centre that little children have to go to school in this weather, we are exposing them to this. Dr Guleria (AIIMS) said we are exposing them to pollution, pandemic and dengue.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre told that the Supreme Court that in today's meeting government will have to focus on the emergency situation of air pollution. The Centre further said that the metrological department was consulted and according to it, spurt in stubble burning, Delhi air remaining static. Thus Centre cited that till November 18 we have to be watchful.

Slamming the Centre for blaming only the farmers for the rise in air pollution, the Supreme Court asked "why are you projecting pollution is because of farmers? It is only certain percentage of pollution. What about the rest? What are you doing to control the pollution in Delhi? You tell us what is your proper plan...not about 2-3 days."

"It has become a fashion for everyone to bash the farmers. You banned firecrackers but what about what has been happening in last 5-6 days," Justice Surya Kant said. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the centre, later clarified, "We are not saying that it's only farmers. We never said that.

Supreme Court also asked the Delhi government about what happened to its decision to install smog towers and emission control projects. Supreme Court told the Delhi government that it has opened all schools in the national capital and now children lungs are exposed to the pollutants. "This is not the Centre's but your jurisdiction. what is happening on that front?" asks the Apex Court from the Delhi government.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan