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Delhi lifts stage 3 pollution control curbs, High Court says "can't close eyes to poor air quality"

Delhi lifts stage 3 pollution control curbs, High Court says cant close eyes to poor air quality

New Delhi: The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) asked Delhi's authorities to revoke the curbs enforced to control pollution. Lifting stage 3 curbs mean that construction and demolition activities can resume in the region.

CAQM said the air quality in the city has improved. The Air Quality Index (AQI) today was 294 which is about 100 points below the threshold for GRAP stage three actions.

"The improvement in AQI is likely to sustain and the forecast does not indicate any steep degradation in the overall air quality in Delhi-NCR in the next few days. The sub-committee, accordingly, hereby decides to revoke with immediate effect its order dated October 29 for invoking actions under Stage-III (severe air quality) of GRAP," said the air quality control panel.

While air quality has comparatively improved, the Delhi High Court said it cannot ignore pollution which has been in the range of "very poor" and "severe." The court noted that the air quality improved in the past few weeks because of generous winds.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said: "At the end of the day, we all live in Delhi. Can we close our eyes when we see so much construction, especially in forest areas in violation of rules? Rampant construction has come up. Obviously, it has not come up overnight. People responsible for this definitely know about it. If no land is left in Delhi, where will you do the plantation?"

The court was hearing the plan by the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas to deal with pollution. The amicus informed the court about rampant deforestation in the city. Senior advocate Kailash Vasdev said the only way to deal with increasing deforestation is to stop illegal construction.

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TAGS:DelhiDelhi HCDelhi High courtair qualityDelhi air pollution
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