SC observations on air emergency underscore the travesty happening in Delhi: CSE

A bench led by Justice Chandrachud, the Chief Justice of India, told the Centre to consider a two-day lockdown in Delhi given the seriousness of the situation

By DTE Staff
Published: Saturday 13 November 2021

Delhi-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said November 13, 2021 that the Supreme Court (SC) of India’s observation that Delhi must go into a lockdown for a couple of days due to the ongoing smog episode underscored the travesty of what was happening in the capital of India. 

Avikal Somvanshi, programme manager and expert at CSE’s Sustainable Cities Programme, added that the observation of the apex court was in line with what CSE had already asked for November 10 and the non-profit was glad that the SC was taking congisance and asking for action.

He said:

It is an extreme measure. But given that the pollution levels are not going down and it has been 10 days and no other emergency action has been taken by the administration or from the air pollution commission which has been formed to look into it, the SC is justified in thinking on these lines.

A bench led by Justice Chandrachud, the Chief Justice of India, was hearing a petition November 13 about the worsening air quality situation in the national capital. It was he who told the Centre that a two-day lockdown could be considered given the seriousness of the situation.

Many users on social media platform criticised the observation. They instead put the blame on the stubble fires lit by Punjab on the air emergency in the capital. 

Somvanshi though, noted that the observation had highlighted that the administration had ignored pollution control measures for this whole duration and things had come to a point that something like a two-day lockdown was being contemplated.

“CSE said this was a health emergency and that the administration should act accordingly,” Somvanshi said. 

He added the emergency action plan for the national capital was already laid down in the Graded Response Action Plan. It had to be put in place once the situation got worse, which was not done.

“They will come with a new plan to the SC November 15. But we are losing time which is really sad because people have to live through this bad air for another two days for the government to actually come up with the plan,” Somvanshi said.

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