Arvind Kejriwal’s government has been rebuked harshly for its decision to reinstate physical education classes for children despite deteriorating air quality, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked: ‘Why children are being compelled to attend school when work from home has been implemented for adults?’ Additionally, the top court asserted that the air quality in the city has not shown much improvement in recent weeks. Despite the increase in air pollution levels, the court observes, nothing is happening.
A 24-hour deadline was given to the Centre to come up with a serious plan for the implementation of air pollution control measures. ‘We cannot enforce or infuse creativity into your bureaucracy, you have to come up with some steps’, the Supreme Court told the Centre after the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta reported that non-compliant industries were closed and state governments informed.
Mehta, representing the Centre in the hearing, told the apex court that ‘things are going at jet speed’ and that officers were working round the clock to bring the situation under control. Delhi’s overall air quality index today was 382, placing it in the ‘very poor’ category.
According to SAFR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), the levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 were 227 and 401, respectively. AQIs between zero and 50 are regarded as ‘good’, 51 to 100 to be ‘satisfactory’, 101 to 200 to be ‘moderate’, 201 to 300 to be ‘poor’, 301 to 400 to be ‘very poor’, and 401 to 500 to be ‘severe’.