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New Delhi: The alarming level of pollution in Delhi in the aftermath of Diwali and unabated crop-burning has left the city choking with authorities scrambling to bring matters under control. With the capital’s AQI not showing any signs of improving anytime before Sunday, several restrictions and guidelines have been issued by the government as well as the Supreme Court, which spoke on the matter on Wednesday. The apex court was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, who sought directions to provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free.
Coming down on those who sit in “5 stars” and complain about stubble burning and pollution, the court said that it does not want to punish farmers for burning stubble. Addressing the blame -game between the Centre and Delhi government over the issue of pollution, Chief Justice of India MV Ramana observed that debates about air quality on TV channels were causing “more pollution than any other sources.
According to the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), air quality is considered to be in the ’emergency’ category if the PM2.5 and PM10 levels continue to be above 300 micrograms per cubic metre and 500 micrograms per cubic metre respectively for 48 hours or more. The city recorded its air quality index at 389 at 9 AM. It had slipped into the severe zone on Tuesday and was recorded at 403 at 4 PM. The Centre on Wednesday proposed a slew of measures in the Supreme Court including a ban on entry of all trucks in the national capital except vehicles carrying essential goods, shutting of schools and 50 per cent attendance in offices of GNCTD to reduce air pollution in Delhi-NCR. Taking note of the Centre’s submissions, the Supreme Court directed Delhi and NCR states to comply with these decisions which were taken at Tuesday’s meeting to curb air pollution.