New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed its concern on rising air pollution in Delhi-NCR and granted 24 hours deadline to the Centre and Delhi government to come up with a serious plan for implementation of pollution control measures. A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant asked the Centre and Delhi government to ‘take a hard look at the situation and come up with a solution’.
The apex court pointed out that several directions issued by the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and adjoining areas were not being implemented at the ground level and said that in an emergency situation, the Government has to work in emergent ways. The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta (appearing for the Centre) requested for one more day’s time to respond to the concerns expressed by the Bench and said that he will talk to the’ highest authority’.
‘We expect a serious real action, if you can’t do by tomorrow we are going to do. We are giving you 24 hours. We think that nothing is happening as pollution level is increasing. We think that we are wasting our time. If the court, government and everyone are doing so much, why is pollution increasing anyone will ask this. What is going wrong then’, CJI Ramana observed as a reply.
It also slammed the Delhi government for opening schools amidst the rising pollution level in the city and asked when the government implemented work from home for adults then why children are being forced to go to school. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the Delhi government told the top court that the schools were reopened after the pollution levels came down, however, the option of online classes is still there. The Bench further pulled the Delhi government saying there is no implementation except assurances and popularity slogans. ‘Nothing has been followed. While we came to court, there are people sitting in the middle of the road with banners of save the environment, that’s why we say only popularity slogans’, the apex court observed.
The top court will hear the plea seeking emergency steps to control the worsening air quality situation in the national capital tomorrow at 10 am. Yesterday, the Central government has filed an affidavit and informed the apex court that the Central Vista development project and the construction work for the new Parliament building are projects of ‘national importance’ and they are complying with every condition to ensure that pollution is not caused.