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Air Pollution LIVE Updates: SC Asks Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and UP Govts to Show How They Complied With Air Quality Commission's Directions

The Supreme Court on Nov 29 expressed concern over rising air pollution in Delhi. (File photo: PTI)

The Supreme Court on Nov 29 expressed concern over rising air pollution in Delhi. (File photo: PTI)

Air Pollution LIVE Updates: The Supreme Court will also conduct a hearing on a public interest litigation pertaining to high levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR today.

Air Pollution LIVE Updates: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai will hold a high-level meeting today to review the air pollution situation in the capital, officials said. The minister will take stock of the situation with senior officials of the departments concerned and discuss steps that could be taken in addition to the existing restrictions on construction and truck entry, an official said. The Supreme Court will also conduct a hearing on a public interest litigation pertaining to high levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR today. The Delhi government had on November 25 re-imposed the ban on construction and demolition activities following the Supreme Court order in this regard.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, Delhi recorded the most number of severely polluted air in November this year, compared to data maintained the pollution watchdog in previous years. The city experienced 11 days of ‘severe’ pollution, whereas in 2020 it was nine days and in 2019, seven. According to CPCB data, Delhi has not recorded a single day with moderate air quality in November this year.

Here are the latest updates on air pollution:

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• Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi will continue till further orders in view of the high air pollution levels. The ban on the entry of trucks, barring those engaged in essential services, will continue till December 7, while CNG and electric trucks will be allowed to enter Delhi, Rai said after a review meeting with officials of departments concerned.

• The Supreme Court directed the Centre to respond to issues related to construction activities including the Central Vista project under its domain besides asking Delhi and NCR states to file their replies to show compliance of directions issued by the commission on air quality management to curb pollution.

• The Supreme Court posted the matter for hearing on December 2.

• The Supreme Court asks Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and UP govts to explain the steps they’ve taken in compliance with directions by Commission for Air Quality Management in Delhi-NCR to curb air pollution and seeks compliance reports from them

• Supreme Court says it will ask the Centre whether continuing construction work at the Central Vista project is adding to dust pollution and asks Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to explain what steps were taken to curb air pollution caused by the project in Delhi

• Supreme Court says if state govts do not implement the directions issued by it, Centre and Commission on air pollution, then it will set up a task force for implementation of measures to reduce pollution.

• The advocate general for Punjab says, “no direction has been issued except for stubble burning. I want to point out issue of transportation pf paddy. There was a meeting held, various states showed interest in transporting paddy."

• “Everyone’s intention is good, everything is good, but still nothing is achieved," the court responds after the solicitor general says directions were issued after holding meeting with their chief secretaries, etc. “everyone was on board before issuing directions. We have now started personally visiting for compliance."

• In the SC hearing, the Chief Justice says these are issues where imposing fines etc wont help, there has to be implementation. If they won’t implement, creating task force is the only way, Live Law reports.

• Supreme Court expresses concern over rising air pollution levels in Delhi. The apex court observed that while pollution levels are rising, there is another problem of COVID-19.

• Students attend school as air quality improves slightly.

• American space agency NASA, on Saturday, shared a picture that shows the level of air pollution, and has identified the problem causing it. Photos tweeted by NASA Earth show “heightened fire activity in Northwestern India as farmers burn off excess paddy straw after the rice harvest. SEE PICTURE

• United Residents Joint Action, a consortium of over 2,500 resident welfare associations in Delhi, launched on November 26 a citizen-driven campaign to monitor compliance and implementation of pollution-control norms. Representatives from 13 identified hotspots of Delhi will work closely with the municipal corporations in Delhi and help report incidents of waste burning, debris dumping or other violations in their area.

• “Air pollution can no longer be dismissed as a localised concern, particularly in the landlocked north Indian cities, which accounts for the majority of information indicating the problem’s significance. Instead, the problem must be handled before it turns into a public health emergency." READ MORE

• Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the workers affected by the ban on construction activities in the national capital will be provided a financial assistance of Rs 5,000 each and his government will also compensate them for the loss of minimum wages.

• Delhi’s overall air quality is in the ‘very poor’ category today, as per SAFAR.

• Despite schools returning to the offline mode, bus services were much slower to restart. While a few schools will resume their transport services with limited services from Monday, a majority of schools are yet to do so, according to an Indian Express report.

• Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of research and advocacy at Centre for Science and Environment was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying that the stubble fire share in Delhi’s PM2.5 levels is only about 2-6%, meaning the severe pollution levels that we are seeing now are a result of local pollution in all of Delhi-NCR.

• The current air quality index (AQI) reads 458, which comes under the ‘severe’ category, as per CPCB real-time data.

• Physical classes in schools, colleges and other educational institutions will resume and government offices are set to reopen from today.

• The ban on the entry of trucks, barring those engaged in essential services, will continue till December 3. CNG and electric trucks, however, are allowed to enter Delhi.

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first published:November 29, 2021, 07:17 IST