Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) is presently at 330 (overall) in the ‘Very Poor’ category, as per SAFAR-India. It is a slight improvement from yesterday’s score of 361. Owing to the poor air quality, the ban on the entry of trucks, barring those engaged in essential services, will continue till December 3. However, the Delhi government on Wednesday decided to resume physical classes in schools, colleges and other educational institutions and reopen government offices from November 29.
Asking why should Delhiites suffer very poor air quality, the Supreme Court on Wednesday called for advance preventive steps to deal with the situation before it becomes severe, observing that any dip in pollution is because of the wind, an “act of God, which too may come to zero by the end of the day.”
The court also wondered what signal the country is sending to the world when the national capital is hit by air pollution, and told the Centre and the National Capital Region(NCR) states to continue with their measures to curb air pollution.
Graded response to deal with the spike in air pollution should be taken before the situation becomes severe, a special bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said, and made it clear that it will not close the pollution case and continue the hearing even if pollution comes down by “virtue of God’s act” or restrictions. “Why should Delhiites suffer this severe and very poor air quality?” the apex court asked. “This is the national capital. Look at the signal we are sending to the world. You can stop these (pollution causing) activities in anticipation itself…”
The court then pushed for evolving a statistical model for Delhi with the help of the Indian Meteorological Department(IMD) to anticipate a weather situation and take advance measures against air pollution. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, at the outset, said that after the last order, the situation has improved as the Air Quality Index(AQI) was at 403 on November 16 and now it was 260.
Delhi’s quality showed an improvement due to strong winds on Sunday and Monday but slipped to “very poor” category on Wednesday due to dip in mercury and wind speed, according to official data.
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