Delhi-NCR Pollution: Amid rising concerns over deteriorating air quality in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), the Supreme court on Tuesday asked Punjab government to stop stubble burning. The apex court observed that there can’t be a political battle all the time.
“We want it (stubble burning) stopped. We don’t know how you do it, it’s your job. But it must be stopped.
Something has to be done immediately,” said the court. The court also directed Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan governments to stop stubble burning forthwith, and made local SHO responsible for implementing court’s direction on stubble burning under the supervision of DGPs and the Chief Secretary.
The apex court also observed that schemes like odd-even for vehicles to tackle pollution issue are mere optics.
Further, the court noted that a smog tower installed as per earlier order is not working, and directed the government to ensure it is repaired.
Last week, Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai had claimed that the smog tower in Connaught Place had remained non-operational for eight months on the direction of Delhi Pollution Control Committee chairman Ashwani Kumar contravening the orders of the Supreme Court and the state government.
Next hearing will take place on November 10:
The next hearing will take place on November 10. With the stubble burning season reaching a peak, the component of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM2.5 is likely to rise. Though the share reached a high of 35.4% on November 3, it has remained mostly 20-25% so far.
“The intensity of the fires rises between November 1 and 15, but wind directionand speed determine stubble burning’s impact on Delhi’s air. Calm wind conditions in the city can also aggravate pollution,” pointed out Gufran Beig, SAFAR founder and project director.
On Monday, Punjab minister Harpal Singh Cheema blamed BJP-ruled states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for not reporting most stubble-burning incidents, saying such incidents were declining in Punjab.
3000 incidents of stubble burning:
Earlier, BJP National Spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said that 3000 incidents of stubble burning were reported in the AAP-ruled state of Punjab on Sunday. We are compelled to burn stubble…” Farmer in Punjab’s Ferozepur shares his ordeal
Meanwhile, a thick clouds of smog continue to shroud Delhi-NCR region as the AQI remain in severe category for the seventh day in a row. Air quality in Delhi-NCR declined over the last 10 days due to a gradual drop in temperatures, calm winds that trap pollution, and a surge in post-harvest paddy straw burning across Punjab and Haryana. Delhi’s air quality ranks among the worst in the world’s capital cities.