Delhi Air Pollution: Given the worsening situation due to pollution in Delhi, the Kejriwal government has closed schools for a week. Schools will remain closed for the next one week from Monday, 15 November. However, online classes will continue. At the same time, construction activity has been banned from 14 to 17 November.
Schools and Government Offices Closed in Delhi
Delhi’s government offices will remain closed for a week, but work from home will continue. At the same time, private offices have also been asked to work from home. These decisions were taken in the emergency meeting held on the matter of pollution. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was informed about these decisions. He said that we are also considering the modalities of complete lockdown.
Arvind Kejriwal said
In between, suggestions were coming out of the Supreme Court whether Delhi could be put under complete lockdown if the situation worsens too much. We are working out what the meaning of that lockdown will be; we are not putting it yet. We are proposing; we will place it before the Supreme Court.
If this happens, we will discuss it with the Centre and all the agencies, because this will be a very extreme step. So by taking the central government into confidence and taking the CPCB into confidence, if such a situation escalates, all private vehicles, construction work, and industries can be closed inside Delhi. We will put this proposal before the court; these four decisions were taken broadly.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the Delhi government to take some practical steps at the earliest. The Supreme Court said that if the situation does not improve soon, the Delhi government should impose a two-day lockdown.
According to India Today, 17-year-old student Aditya Dubey had filed public interest litigation in the Supreme Court due to the ever-increasing pollution in Delhi’s air. The unique bench of the Supreme Court hears these petitions. Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud, and Justice Surya Kant. Hearing the petition on Saturday, Justice Ramana expressed her concern over the ever-increasing pollution in the air of Delhi. Justice Ramana said,
“We all have already seen how bad the situation has become. Now we are compelled to wear masks even in our homes.”
Justice Chandrachud said
Look at the seriousness of the problem. Schools have been opened after Corona. Young children go to school at 7 o’clock from home. Now you see all the kids going to school and their lungs getting exposed to pollution. Have you reacted to the situation? It comes under Delhi Government.
In the court, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the Central Government and Delhi Government’s lawyer Rahul Mehra, presented many arguments. Tushar Mehta says
“Centre, states, other agencies are all battling at their level. Some steps can be taken to deal with this problem of burning Parli, the list of which we have filed in the court”.
On this argument of Tushar Mehta, CJI Rammana asked,
“You are presenting the matter in such a way that only farmers are responsible for this situation; pollution has increased only by 40 per cent due to farmers burning stubble. What would you say about the pollution caused by firecrackers and vehicles?
The court asked the government to take immediate action to control the increasing pollution in Delhi. Also, if the situation does not improve, the court suggested the Delhi government impose a two-day lockdown.
The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing till Monday, 15 November. The court advised the Center and all the states to hold an emergency meeting to work on pollution. Along with this, the Supreme Court has been asked to appraise the decision taken in this meeting.