SC seeks long-term solution for pollution
SC seeks long-term solution for pollutionBy Samanwaya Rautray, ET Bureau|Nov 13, 2017, 11.02 PM IST
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âWhere are the timelines? It is not enough to have emergency measures which are reactive to a crisis,â a bench, comprising Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, observed during a hearing on a long-term graded response to tackle the air pollution that has engulfed Delhi-NCR.
The bench also observed that the problem was not Delhi-specific. âWhat about other regions of the country?â Justice Deepak Gupta argued. He cited the examples of other cities of north India and Bihar.
The bench asked EPCA to come back with firm deadlines of its plans which covers a switch to cleaner fuels by industry, better enforcement of emission norms, and an overhauling of the public transport system by November 17 â" the next date of hearing â" when amicus curiae Aparajita Singh said all measures so far had helped curb pollution only by 15-20%.
The apex court was hearing a plea by small and medium industries for extending deadline to switch from ecologically damaging fuels such as pet coke and furnace oil widely used in NCR. The bench refused to extend any interim relief to the industries, but said it would pass orders as the amicus, assisting the court in tackling the air pollution problem, maintained that they could switch to better fuels that are available in plenty.
The bench also clarified that its ban on use of these fuels covered all the states which had territory in NCR, which includes Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.
In the first hint of a rethink on the efficacy of the odd-even scheme to tackle deteriorating air quality, the apex court was also told of an alternative EPCA plan to curb vehicular pollution blamed for the deteriorating air quality in Delhi NCR.
The plan was suggested during the hearing was a colour-coded scheme which will ensure that the most polluting vehicles get off the road first in response to any emergency. Amicus Singh suggested the EPCA plan to the bench. Read more onSupreme CourtEPCADelhi pollutionAir Pollution
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