On Friday, Supreme Court accepted the Centre’s Graded Action Plan to tackle the rising levels of Air Pollution in the NCT Delhi.
Apex Court has asked Centre to notify the Action Plan with Bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice A K Sikri and Justice S A Bobde who had earlier banned the sale of the firecrackers in NCT Delhi by expounding that urgent steps were needed to be taken to tackle the pollution crisis.
Supreme Court further asked Centre, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Environment Pollution (Control and Prevention) Authority (EPCA) to enforce graded action plan that will be pegged to the various categories of Air Quality Index (AQI).
Centre has recommended odd-even formula even though CPCB’s reports said that the measure, in the absence of the other steps, did not have a significant impact on the pollution levels.
The Centre’s Report has also recommended banning of the diesel generator sets and increasing the parking fee by 3-4 times in case of `very poor’ air quality, when the PM2.5 level is between 121 and 250.
It has further stated that schools should suspend all the outdoor activities and the sports events during severe and very poor levels of the pollution. In its report to the SC, the Centre favoured enforce ment of the odd-even formula in such cases and also suggested setting up a highpowered taskforce, consisting of officers of the Centre and Delhi government and health experts, that would be empowered to take measures to reduce the pollution level.
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has also welcomed Supreme Court’s decision directing the Centre to notify graded response action plan finalised by the Central Pollution Control Board.