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Air pollution: SC reprimands Delhi government on ‘false excuses’, ‘You can also get your advertising expenses audited’

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The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Delhi government for holding the municipal corporations also responsible for air pollution in Delhi. The court said that such false pretenses will force us to conduct an audit of the expenditure and earnings on your advertisements.

In a 26-page affidavit filed by the Delhi government in the Supreme Court on Monday, information was given about the measures being taken to reduce pollution and protect the environment. The government has told the court that it is ready to impose a complete lockdown to reduce pollution in the capital, but such a move will prove meaningful only if it is implemented in the NCR areas of neighboring states as well.

Meanwhile, the Center told the Supreme Court that stubble burning is currently not a major cause of pollution in Delhi and northern states, as it accounts for only 10 per cent of the pollution. Along with this, the Center suggested three steps to the Supreme Court to reduce air pollution in Delhi, including the introduction of the odd-even vehicle scheme, ban on the entry of trucks in Delhi and the lockdown.

The Supreme Court observed that dust, heavy vehicles and industries are the major causes of air pollution in Delhi. Pollution can be kept under control if timely steps are taken by the government. Taking note of the Delhi government’s affidavit, the Supreme Court said that the affidavit is about cursing farmers and asked how stubble burning is the whole reason for pollution.

The Supreme Court reprimanded the Delhi government and said that now they are putting the blame on the municipal corporations. Such excuses will compel us to audit your earnings and spend on advertisements.

The Supreme Court has come to the conclusion that the major causes of air pollution are stubble burning in certain areas besides transport, industry, vehicular traffic. The court has sought answers from the central and state governments by tomorrow evening that which industries, vehicles and power plants can be stopped from running and how can you provide alternative electricity till then?

The Supreme Court, while adjourning the matter to November 17, has asked the Center and the states of the NCR region to consider work from home for the employees in the meantime. The Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana have also been asked to be present in the emergency meeting to be held by the Center on Tuesday.

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