Supreme Court passed stern remarks over the deteriorating situation of air quality in Delhi and the emergency handling of the situation by both State and Central Government.
Highlights of the SC ruling
- No room in Delhi is worth living
- People aren’t safe even inside their homes
- They are losing their valuable years to pollution
- No need to show sympathy for farmers that burn Parali
- Village head to Joint Secretary of the state should be held guilty for Parali burning incidents
- SC summoned Chief Secretaries of Haryana and Punjab
- Recommended 1 lakh fine on people doing construction activities despite ban
- People find littering streets should be fined Rs. 5,000
- SC questions success of odd-even scheme in Delhi
- The pollution level is so high that even GRAP failed to bring respite to population of NCR
SC asked worth of odd/even scheme
Delhi government has allowed people to travel via taxis, autos and two-wheelers during odd-even days. Since these automobiles also add to pollution, the usefulness of applying odd-even scheme is doubtful. SC sees little benefit from this scheme.
Why did GRAP fail in Delhi?
Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority suggested Graded Response Action Plan failed that helped Beijing in fighting pollution failed in Delhi for two reasons.
- Delayed response
- Half-hearted measures
Beijing was once one of the most polluted cities of the world is now out of the list of 200 most polluted cities. In Delhi, the government applied GRAP only when the pollution reached the severe level that is 500 AQI. But Beijing applied GRAP at 300 AQI.
Is early intervention the key to success in battle against pollution?
Beijing proved that close monitoring of AQI and quick application of GRAP is the key to success. China doesn’t wait for the AQI to rise to apply GRAP. It takes necessary steps as soon as the AQI crosses 300 mark. But in India, governments wait till the AQI crosses the danger mark.
Could masks and air purifiers help control pollution?
Yes, these devices work but only when the pollution is under control. But these devices become redundant in the severe level of pollution as in Delhi and its neighbouring areas.
AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said in interview that purifier would only filter the air present inside a room. He further said that continuous use of air purifier would reduce the amount of fresh air in the room. It’s high time for India to wake up to pollution.