The Supreme Court on Tuesday defined pollution in Delhi as “dreaded”, “severe” and “disaster”, and sought a response from the Centre on its policy to tackle pollution by Thursday. The apex court noted down the suggestions submitted by Sunita Narain, the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and other parties concerned and asked the government to come up with a Common Minimum Programme in 48 hours on how to tackle the situation.
The court is likely to pass a detailed order after government’s response. Earlier in the day, the National Green Tribunal banned construction activities for a week in Delhi and National Capital Region to check the alarming rise in pullotion level.
Delhi’s air quality has steadily worsened after Diwali. Apart from crackers’ smoke, burning of crop stubble in farms contributed to the thick cover of hazardous haze that has been shrouding the city for nearly a week.
The air quality have levels of harmful PM 2.5 particles hovering at dangerous levels, something that has been seen in cities like Beijing. These fine particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter are linked to higher rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease.