The Supreme Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the Centre and state/city governments of the national capital region (NCR) while hearing their submission on the air pollution crisis. Taking note of the Centre’s submissions, the Supreme Court directed Delhi and NCR states to comply with these decisions which were taken at Tuesday’s meeting to curb air pollution.
As a blame game erupted over the data on farm fires, the Chief Justice slammed the officials: “Debates on TV are causing more pollution than any other sources. Everyone has their own agenda there. We are trying to work out a solution here.” “What I’m observing is, as a judge, bureaucracy has developed sort of inertia. They don’t want to take a decision, they want only how to stop a vehicle etc this court has to do! Everything we have to do. This is an attitude developed by Executive,” the CJI said.
In its affidavit filed before the court, the central government said it is not in favour of work-from-home for its employee. In its affidavit filed before the apex court, the Centre said that it has instead advised its employees in Delhi to resort to carpooling to reduce the number of vehicles used by them for commuting. The Centre also said that the number of vehicles used by Central government is a minuscule fraction of the total vehicles in the national capital and stopping their plying would not make much impact towards improving the air quality of Delhi.
Meanwhile, amid the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) Tuesday directed closing of all education institutions till further notice, a halt on all construction activities till November 21 as well as work from home for 50 per cent staff in government offices. Trucks, other than those carrying essential supplies, will not be allowed entry into Delhi till November 21 and this restriction may be extended depending on the conditions