The SC has observed that advanced measures must be taken with respect to Delhi’s air quality crisis, on the basis of wind pattern and scientific models based on air pollution levels in different seasons.
A bench comprising the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant observed the above while hearing a matter seeking emergency steps to control the worsening air quality situation in Delhi.
The Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta said that the air quality of Delhi was slightly improving as a result of which the ban on construction activities has been lifted with effect from November 22, the SG informed the SC.
While the SG was reading out the other measures adopted by the Commission, Justice Chandrachud intervened to say "These are all ad-hoc measures. The commission has to do a scientific study by having statistical models. You have the wind pattern for next 7 days. You have to take measures consistent with the wind direction. What are the steps you need to take, and what will be impact of those steps for the next 7 days? Somebody has to conduct that study. It must be science based". The Solicitor General agreed to the suggestion.
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The Chief Justice of India observed that the improvement in the air quality was majorly due to the reduction in the wind speed over the last few days. The CJI said that the bench is not disposing of the matter and will continue monitoring the situation. The CJI pointed out that the AQI is 318 at the moment.
The CJI further observed that states should use thousands of crores lying with them for the welfare of construction workers to provide them with subsistence when construction activities are banned. Ultimately, the bench adjourned the hearing to next Monday, November 29, asking the Centre, Delhi-NCR states and the Central Commission to take appropriate decisions to deal with the situation. The SG informed the bench that the Central Commission was constantly monitoring the situation.
The Court had also commented that an attempt was made to project that stubble burning was the major cause, and lamented that "farmer bashing has become a fashion now".
The Bench has also been considering a PIL filed by Aditya Dubey seeking directions in relation to pollution caused in Delhi and adjoining areas due to stubble burning and other sources of pollution.