India’s top court Tuesday directed states neighboring New Delhi to take steps to stop farm fires which are contributing to rising air pollution.
The Supreme Court asked the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to take steps to stop stubble burning, which it said is a key factor behind the spike in New Delhi’s air pollution every winter.
“We want it stopped. We don’t know how you do it, it’s your job. But it must be stopped. Something has to be done immediately,” a bench of Justice SK Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia said and posted a hearing for Friday, according to local news broadcaster NDTV.
Stubble burning is considered a major contributing factor to air pollution. Farmers in northern India set fire to their fields at the onset of winter to clear crop stubble from harvested rice paddies.
As residents in New Delhi and neighboring areas continue to reel from severe pollution, authorities have ordered primary schools closed and additional measures.
Authorities in New Delhi announced an odd-even formula Monday for license plates to drive on roads next week to curb pollution levels.
An air quality and weather bulletin issued by the government Tuesday said air quality is likely to remain in the “very poor to severe category” for the next six days. It said air quality in the capital remained in the severe category with an air quality index of 421 out of 500 on Monday.
The Federal Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change said Sunday that unfavorable meteorological conditions, very high incidents of farm fires and low-speed north-westerly winds moving pollutants to New Delhi are the major causes for a sudden spike in the Air Quality Index.
Source : aa