The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear PILs filed in regard to the pollution and smog in the air in Delhi. The top court wants the presence of lawyers representing the Centre and the Delhi governments along with officials of civic bodies.
The national capital has been shrouded over the past few days by a thick blanket of smog, containing particulate matter dangerous even for healthy children and adults. Several places in Delhi recorded ten times the permissible levels of PM2.5 and PM10 in the air. The Met Department has said a clear sky will be visible in Delhi only on Wednesday.
Farmers burning large patches of crop residue are chiefly to blame for the degradation of air quality in Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said. He ordered the closing of schools for three days starting Monday and shutdown of power plants. Met officials told the Indian Express that wind levels are expected to ‘remain calm’ for two more days along with the lowering of temperatures. Both factors are seen to be favourable for the pollutants that hang in the air.
The excessive burning of firecrackers on Diwali has also been cited as a reason for the spike in pollutants in the air. Officials have been asked to ponder about a return of the odd-even scheme in Delhi as well as the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain. Construction and demolition activities have also been stopped in the city.