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India’s top court suggests 2-day lockdown in New Delhi to tackle pollution

Indian capital city New Delhi is among the topmost polluted cities in the world. Image: File

NEW DELHI: India’s top court on Saturday suggested the federal government and the local government in New Delhi may consider imposing a lockdown of two days in the national capital in view of the high pollution levels.

Indian capital city New Delhi is among the topmost polluted cities in the world. Industrial activities and vehicular traffic are significant contributors to air pollution in the city, along with rampant construction. Every year ahead of winters, the air quality in New Delhi becomes hazardous over the past many years.

The court’s observations came while hearing a case on pollution in the capital city. The court said the air quality in New Delhi is in the “severe” category and will dip further in another two to three days. It asked the federal government to take an emergency decision for improving the air quality.

“You see how bad the situation is … even in our houses, we are wearing masks,” Indian Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said. For the past 10 days, severe smog is engulfing the city. The court further said that farmers alone cannot be blamed for the rising pollution levels over stubble burning and that the authorities must deal with other causes too, including vehicular pollution, dust and industrial pollution.

The court asked the federal government to call an emergency meeting of all the stakeholders and posted the matter for hearing on Monday. Officials in New Delhi often blame the stubble burning in neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana for the increasing pollution.

 


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