State should submit affidavit on the directions issued on pollution: Supreme Court

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New Delhi
During the hearing of the Delhi and NCR pollution case, the Supreme Court has asked the Delhi government as well as the NCR states of UP, Haryana and Punjab to submit an affidavit regarding the implementation of the directions of the Air Quality Management Commission. The Supreme Court also said that it is necessary to follow the instructions, otherwise we will have to constitute an independent task force to get them followed. The Central Government has been asked to file a reply in the matter of allegations of construction activity taking place in the Central Vista Project.

State to submit report related to implementation of commission’s instructions
During the hearing of the case in the Supreme Court on Monday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared on behalf of the Central Government and told that the Air Quality Management Commission has issued several directions to control pollution in Delhi and NCR, including short term and long term. There are solutions. which the states have implemented. The central government had suggested 50 per cent attendance of personnel in the office of the National Capital Region, ban on trucks in Delhi and closure of schools. Along with this, a ban was also ordered on the construction activity. During this, a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana said that Delhi and NCR should file affidavits regarding compliance of the state commission. The Supreme Court asked the states to file affidavits regarding compliance of the commission’s directions and fixed December 2 for hearing.

What happened on the order to give relief to workers from labor cess
The Chief Justice said that the state report should also be presented about the implementation of the directions issued by us on November 24. On November 24, the Supreme Court had again banned construction activities in Delhi and NCR till further orders in view of pollution. The Supreme Court had directed the states of Delhi and NCR to pay minimum allowance to workers from labor cess during the ban till the construction activities are closed. The Supreme Court has also asked to present the report related to the implementation of this order to the states of Delhi and NCR. The Supreme Court said that the state should tell what has been done regarding the release of funds from the welfare fund to the construction workers. In the event of a construction ban, the Supreme Court had asked to give relief from the welfare fund to the workers. In the Supreme Court, it was said on behalf of the Delhi government that 2.9 lakh laborers affected due to the ban on construction have been given five thousand rupees from the welfare fund. The Supreme Court has sought information from other states in this regard.

If the order is not implemented, then a task force will have to be formed.
During the hearing, the Solicitor General said that there are all the instructions of the commission and those instructions have been followed by the states. After this, the Chief Justice said that the states should tell about the orders that have been implemented and if any orders have not been followed, then they should be implemented immediately. It is necessary to follow the instructions of the commission, otherwise we will be forced to form an independent task force. If the order is not implemented, we will be left with the only way to constitute a task force.

Answer sought from the Center on the construction activity of Central Vista Project
During the hearing of the case, the petitioner’s lawyer Vikas Singh said that even though the Supreme Court had ordered a stay on the construction, work continued in the Central Vista project. On this, the Solicitor General has been asked by the Supreme Court to respond. Vikas Singh said that the work was going on in full swing in the Central Vista project while the construction activity was ordered to be stopped. The project cannot be more important than the lives of the common people. On this, the Supreme Court said that on the questions raised by Vikas Singh that construction activity was going on in the Vista project in Delhi, we direct the Solicitor General to file an affidavit. Expressing concern over pollution in Delhi and NCR, the Supreme Court said that if the directions given by the Air Quality Management Commission are not implemented by the states, then the Supreme Court can constitute a task force for it. Instructions have been issued but the result is null. The Center is saying that steps are being taken but the situation is getting worse day by day. At the same time, the threat of corona also remains. The Supreme Court has asked the Center to file a reply on the construction of the Central Vista Project as well as the efforts made to check pollution in the central government-controlled area in Delhi.

Affidavit has been filed by the Central Government.
An affidavit was filed on behalf of the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Central Government, saying that the order of the Supreme Court has been complied with. The Supreme Court, in its November 24 order, had said that there is a need to take precautionary steps in advance to keep the air quality of Delhi healthy. The top court had said that the scientific model and wind pattern should be assessed and then based on the forecast, the government should take steps in advance. He should study that air quality is different in different seasons and then based on wind patterns and scientific models, steps should be taken so that pollution can be controlled.

It was told by the Central Government that under the said order, the commission has constituted an expert group which will assess the air quality. What is the condition of air quality in different seasons over the years will be studied. Also, emergency steps will be taken under forecast based on wind patterns and scientific data. For this, the expert group will tell seven days in advance and at the same time it will also identify the hot spots of the capital. Along with this, the states have also been asked to submit compliance reports.

The central government said that the commission has held several meetings with representatives of Delhi and NCR states and all stakeholders. Also, it was identified what are the causes of pollution in the area. The main causes of pollution are industries, vehicle operation, stubble burning, blown dust at construction and domelation sites, road and open area dust and biomass burning, municipal solid waste and landfill site fires. All the instructions were issued to the states of Delhi and NCR, under which the closure of schools and educational institutions, ban on construction at the construction site and other steps were asked to be taken. Delhi was asked to set up a web portal for Dusk Control Monitoring as well as to increase plantation and green cover. It has also been asked to remove the cap on the registration of e-rickshaw. It was also said that action should be taken on vehicles older than 10 years old diesel and 15 years old petrol vehicle.

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