SC Directs ‘Work From Home, To Control Air Pollution

Story Highlights
  • Supreme Court asked Centre and concerned states to take decisions to curtail Delhi’s air pollution.
  • It directed centre to call emergency meeting on Tuesday to chalk out immediate steps.
  • No physical classes to be held in schools this week, govt officials to WFH.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court urged the Centre and relevant states to decide which businesses, cars, and power plants can be temporarily shut down to reduce Delhi’s air pollution during its hearing on the Delhi pollution issue on Monday. It also requested that the work-from-home policy be reconsidered.

In its affidavit, the supreme court further chastised the Delhi administration for focusing primarily on stubble-burning as a source of pollution.

Delhi said no physical lessons will be held in schools this week, and government personnel would work from home, citing the actions taken so far. Work From Home has also been recommended for private offices. For three days, construction sites will be closed. To combat the capital’s pollution issue, the Delhi Traffic Police announced that any cars operating without pollution under control (PUC) certifications will be prosecuted.

The court also ordered the centre to call an emergency meeting of states and other authorities on Tuesday to propose quick steps to reduce dangerous pollution, and said it would return to the matter the next day. The Centre informed the Supreme Court that stubble burning is not a significant cause of pollution in Delhi, accounting for about 10% of the capital’s poor air quality. This comes as the Delhi government has warned the Supreme Court that it is willing to take measures such as “complete lockdown to control local emissions,” which are contributing to the high pollution in the national capital.

Despite being in the “extremely bad” category, Delhi’s air quality improved on Sunday, with a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 330 compared to 437 the day before, as emissions from field fires in Haryana and Punjab decreased dramatically. On Friday, the AQI was 471, the worst of the season thus far.

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