Urban factors, the actual cause of pollution
Part of: Prelims and GS-III – Environment
Context In recent affidavits filed by the Centre and the Delhi Government to the Supreme Court, it has been highlighted that farm fires/stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh contributed to only 10% of the pollution.
- Urban factors as major cause: Urban factors such as construction activities, industry, vehicular exhaust and road dust were actually the major causes of pollution in Delhi and not farmers’ stubble burning.
- In the previous hearing, the court had questioned the narrow focus of the Centre and the Delhi Government on farmers.
- Firm commitment needed: The SC, while insisting that stubble burning was not the major cause, urged the Centre, Delhi and the States towards a firm commitment to act against pollution.
- Too few mechanised road sweepers: SC was shocked to realise that Delhi had only 69 mechanised road sweepers to cover all the streets of the Capital.
- Urgent meeting: The court directed the Centre to call an urgent meeting in 24 hours with Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to craft urgent and effective anti-pollution measures and their implementation.
- The court also asked the Centre, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to introduce work from home for now.