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Delhi government tells SC it is ready for lockdown, but impact will be limited

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The Supreme Court had asked the government to come up with an emergency plan to tackle air pollution in Delhi

New Delhi: Two days after the Supreme Court’s rap, the Delhi government told the court it is ready to enforce complete lockdown in the capital to tackle pollution.

The SC had on Saturday asked for an emergency plan to deal with the rising pollution in national capital. It has also suggested a two-day lockdown to immediately bring down the pollution level.

“The Delhi government is ready to take steps like complete lock down to control local emissions. However, such a step would be meaningful if it is implemented across the NCR areas in neighbouring states. Given Delhi’s compact size, a lock down would have limited impact on the air quality regime,” says the affidavit by the Delhi government.

It added, “We are ready to consider this step if the same is mandated for the entire NCR areas by the Government of India or by the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas.”

Physical classes will not be held in schools this week, the government told the SC. Also, private offices have been advised to allow their staff to work from home, while construction sites will remain shut for three days.

The air quality index (AQI) in the capital had dropped to very poor and severe last week due to stubble burning, vehicular pollution, coal-powered plants outside the city, garbage burning and dust.

According to news agency ANI, the government admitted that stubble burning is not the major cause of pollution in Delhi and northern states at present as it accounts for just 10 per cent of the pollution.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the city had reported improvement in the air quality.

 

 

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