IndiaIndustry and vehicles due to toxic gases, farmers play a small role...

Industry and vehicles due to toxic gases, farmers play a small role in Delhi pollution; Agreed Center


Highlight:

  • The court ordered a lockdown if necessary
  • The Center says the Delhi government is intervening effectively
  • More restrictions if needed

New Delhi: The Center has admitted in the Supreme Court that farmers are not the main culprits behind air pollution in Delhi. The government told the court that burning of straw by farmers in the fields contributes less than 10 per cent to air pollution in Delhi and that the main responsibility for air quality deterioration lies with industries and vehicles.

The government told the court that farmers were responsible for only 4 to 10 per cent of air pollution in Delhi. The government has said it is ready to consider tougher measures, including lock-downs, to reduce pollution in Delhi. However, the apex court asked the Center to convene a joint meeting of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to end the field fires. The court also asked the government to restrict non-emergency vehicular traffic and end pollution from industries.

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Solicitor General Thushar Mehta appeared in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Central Government. He told the court that burning of straw by farmers in the northern Indian states was not the main cause of pollution in Delhi. Its share is less than ten per cent. He told a bench comprising Chief Justice NV Rana, Justices DY Chandrachud and Justice Suryakant that dust was currently the main cause of pollution. He told the court that the Delhi government was doing a good job in this regard and that the government had intervened to stop the construction work and spray water to dust it off.

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The Center told the court that experts in the field were currently working well and would impose a lockdown if necessary. He said the thermal power plants adjacent to Delhi would be temporarily shut down and trucks would be barred from entering the city.

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