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Ready to Impose Complete Lockdown to Prevent Air Pollution: Delhi Govt to SC

The Delhi government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it is ready to take steps such as “complete lockdown” to control local emissions contributing to severe dip in air quality in the national capital.

However, the state government said, “such a step would be meaningful if it is implemented across the NCR areas in the neighbouring states”.

“GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) is ready to take steps like complete lockdown to control the local emissions. However, such a step would be meaningful if it is implemented across the NCR areas in neighbouring states. Given Delhi’s compact size, a lockdown would have limited impact on the air quality regime.”

“In view of the above, we are ready to consider this step if the same is mandated for the entire NCR areas by the government of India or by the Commission for Air Quality Management in national capital region and adjoining areas,” an affidavit filed by the Delhi government said, ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Monday.

The affidavit was submitted in response to a plea filed by environmental activist Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, who sought directions to provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free.

While hearing the plea, the Supreme Court on Saturday had termed the rise in air pollution in Delhi-NCR an “emergency” situation and asked the Union government and the Delhi government to take emergency measures, including a two-day lockdown, to improve the air quality. The top court had further stressed on the fact that the Union and state government cannot keep on blaming the stubble burning issue in Punjab for Delhi’s severe dip in air quality.

It had also expressed concern that schools in the city have opened and children are being exposed to severe pollution conditions.

After the apex court’s intervention on this matter, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced closure of schools for a week, ban on construction activities and work from home for government employees, to deal with the air quality crisis.

(With PTI inputs)

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