Will Delhi impose lockdown over pollution? Kejriwal government responds
The Delhi government on Monday submitted a proposal on imposing a lockdown in the capital city to the Supreme Court. The government told the court it is ready to take steps like complete lockdown to battle air pollution. Delhi has already shut schools and construction activity in view of the health crisis. Here are more details on this.
Why does this story matter?
Delhi is among the most polluted major cities around the world, posing a serious health risk to its nearly two crore residents. In winter months, the city's air quality plunges to hazardous levels each year mainly due to the effect of stubble burning from nearby states, emissions from transport, and coal-fired power plants. Firecracker burning on Diwali also contributes to the pollution.
'Lockdown will only have a limited impact'
"The Delhi government is ready to take steps like complete lockdown to control local emissions," the government said in its affidavit. A lockdown would only be meaningful if it is implemented across the National Capital Region (NCR), it said. "Given Delhi's compact size, a lockdown would have limited impact on the air quality regime," it added.
Delhi announced curbs last week
On Saturday, the Delhi government had announced several anti-pollution measures after being nudged by the SC. Schools have been shut for a week starting Monday and all construction activity is suspended until at least Wednesday. Government officials will also work from home, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said, adding that private offices will be encouraged to do the same.
SC earlier called for emergency steps
Kejriwal's announcement had come mere hours after the Supreme Court slammed the governments at the Centre and in Delhi over pollution. Chief Justice NV Ramana had inquired if a two-day lockdown could be imposed in the city. "You have to look at this issue beyond politics and government. Something must happen so that in two to three days we feel better."