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Delhi: Supreme Court grills government over air pollution crisis

Delhi: Supreme Court grills government over air pollution crisis
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Addressing the rising air pollution problem in the capital, the Supreme Court on Friday questioned the government over delay in tackling problem.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court expressed concerns over the rising air pollution crisis in the capital, stating that the odd-even scheme put forth by the government isn't working. On Friday, AQI stood at 468. As of this morning, it rose to 527. A thick layer of smog engulfed Delhi for the fourth consecutive day.

"Delhi is suffering badly, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is almost 600 even today. How do people breathe? Odd-Even may not be the solution to control air pollution," said Supreme Court to the Delhi government.

The Central Pollution Control Board told the SC that pollution from cars constitutes only 3% of total pollution: All vehicles combined cause 28% of the problem. In response, the SC said "Odd-even may not be a permanent solution, especially when the CPCB says cars constitute 3 per cent of pollution levels. Garbage dumping, construction wastes and road dust are also major contributors to pollution levels."

Delhi government has stated that while stubble burning is the primary cause of concern for the rising pollution, the odd-even scheme has helped reduce the pollution by 5-15 per cent. It added that if no vehicles are exempt under the rule, then the results will be even better.

The Supreme Court summoned chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi over pollution in Delhi-NCR. The court expressed concerns that despite the reduction in stubble burning and odd-even scheme, pollution in Delhi is worse. Punjab, Haryana, UP, and the national capital have been asked to file an affidavit on steps taken so far before November 25. Delhi government has also been asked to suggest what can be done about garbage burning.

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