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SC Gives Three Months for Project on Smog Tower at Delhi's Connaught Place to Deal with Air Pollution

This comes after the top court had partially lifted its ban on construction activities in the Delhi-NCR region, allowing them to take place between 6 AM and 6 PM.

PTI

Updated:December 16, 2019, 7:54 PM IST
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SC Gives Three Months for Project on Smog Tower at Delhi's Connaught Place to Deal with Air Pollution
Supreme Court of India.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday gave three months' time to the Centre and Delhi government for the pilot project of setting up a 'smog tower' at Connaught Place here to deal with the problem of air pollution, while brushing aside their request seeking nine months for the same.

"You cannot take that much time (eight to nine months). We do not want to waste one more year," a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A N S Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, told the apex court that they have filed an affidavit in this regard.

"How much time do you want for implementation of the pilot project (on smog tower)?" the bench asked.

Nadkarni said minimum five-six months would be needed for setting up of the smog tower under the pilot project.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Delhi government, said that as a pilot project the smog tower would be set up at Connaught Place and a minimum of eight-nine months' time was needed for this.

The bench also interacted with an IIT professor, who is associated with the high-level committee which is examining the feasibility of using technology like smog towers and smog guns to combat air pollution.

When the IIT expert said that pilot project on smog tower at Connaught Place here would be completed by August or September next year, the bench said, "Can't it be done in two or three months?".

The bench also asked Nadkarni about use of other technology like smog guns to combat air pollution.

"How many smog guns are required? Who will give the funds for it? What is the cost of one smog gun? Who will purchase it and who will bear the cost? By tomorrow, you inform us about all this. We will pass order," the bench said.

"We are giving you three months time for this pilot project (at Connaught Place). You are capable of doing this in three months," the bench said.

The apex court asked Nadkarni to give details about the technology which could be used to deal with air pollution.

On December 9, the top court had partially lifted its ban on construction activities in the Delhi-NCR region, allowing them to take place between 6 AM and 6 PM, after the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said that the air quality index (AQI) level was not severe at the time.

The apex court, which had on November 4 stopped construction and demolition in the Delhi-national capital region (NCR), had passed the order after perusing an affidavit filed by the CPCB which said, however, that no construction should be permitted during 6 PM to 6 AM.

Regarding the apex court's November 25 direction to ascertain efficacy of anti-smog guns for pollution control in Delhi, the CPCB had said in its affidavit that it has conducted studies on this at two sites — Gurugram's central park resorts on December 1 and Delhi's Anand Vihar on December 2.

It had said that detailed findings have been shared with the high-level committee for further analysis.

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