New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Delhi government and the Central Pollution Control Board to provide Air Quality Index (AQI) data since the day Odd-Even was introduced in the Capital, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the vehicle rationing scheme could be extended “if necessary”.
The scheme began on November 4 for 12 days and was relaxed on November 11 and 12 for the celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
The SC issued a notice to the Delhi government on a petition filed by a Noida-based advocate, which alleged that the Delhi government's November 1 notification on the scheme also violates fundamental rights. It alleged that the odd-even rule violates citizens' rights to practice any profession, carry out any occupation, trade or business and to move freely throughout the country.
Speaking to News18, Kejriwal said it was sad that despite the directions of the Supreme Court on stubble burning, the practice still continued in Punjab. “Parali can be converted to both CNG and coal. Why are governments of Haryana and Punjab not exploring those options?” he asked.
The court on Wednesday also directed the Centre to explore the feasibility of a hydrogen-based Japanese technology as a permanent solution to the air pollution in the NCR region and other parts of north India. It directed the Centre to expedite the deliberations on the issue and come before the court with its findings on December 3.
The development comes as Delhi's air quality neared the "emergency" zone for the second time in a fortnight on Wednesday due to raging farm fires in neighbouring states and unfavourable weather conditions.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and CJI designate SA Bobde said since Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has himself brought to the court's notice a technology which is the outcome of a research by a university in Japan, the Centre will explore the feasibility of using it in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other parts of north India.
At the outset, the bench said there is a need for a permanent solution to the air pollution which has been affecting the people in the NCR region and remaining northern India.
Mehta told the bench that a university in Japan conducted a research keeping in view the air pollution in the NCR region and northern India. He said the research is quite innovative and the government thinks it can use the technology to combat the prevailing pollution levels in the region.
The solicitor general introduced to the bench a researcher from a university in Japan, Vishwanath Joshi, who apprised it about the hydrogen-based technology that has the potential to eradicate air pollution. The court also said there are similar matters pending before other benches and they can be amalgamated for the hearing.