The Delhi government has told the Supreme Court that it is ready to take steps like complete lockdown to control the local emission, which would help in bringing down the air pollution in the national capital, but added that it will have only a limited impact.
In an affidavit, the Delhi government said: "GNCTD is ready to take steps like complete lockdown to control local emissions. However, such a step would be meaningful if it is implemented across the NCR areas in neighbouring states. Given Delhi's compact size, a lockdown would have limited impact on the air quality regime".
The government said this issue would need to be addressed at the level of airshed involving NCR areas.
The Delhi government, listing the steps taken so far, said no physical classes would be held in schools this week and the government officials would work from home, and private offices have also been advised to allow work-from-home for their employees.
"All construction and demolition activities will be closed with immediate effect till November 17", said the affidavit.
Meanwhile, arguing in the case, the Centre has suggested the apex court a set of three measures - Introduction of odd-even vehicle scheme, ban on trucks' entry in Delhi, and lockdown as the last measure - to curb the air pollution menace from exploding further.
While hearing the case, the Supreme Court observed that the major cause of the situation in the national capital are dust, heavy vehicular traffic, and industries. The apex court said if timely steps are taken by the government, pollution can be kept to manageable levels.
The Court has asked the Centre and State Government to respond by tomorrow evening over which industries can be stopped, which vehicles can be prevented from plying and which power plants can be stopped, & how you can provide alternative power by then.
The Centre told Supreme Court that stubble burning is not the major cause of pollution at present in Delhi and northern states, as it contributes to only 10% of the pollution.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court while perusing the Delhi government's affidavit says the affidavit is all about bashing farmers and how the entire cause is stubble burning.
On November 13, the Supreme Court took a serious view of the severe air pollution in Delhi-NCR and suggested that if needed the government can declare a two-day lockdown to bring down the levels, which has been caused by stubble burning, vehicles, firecrackers, industries and dust.
At the outset, a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, that the "situation is very bad... In the house we are wearing masks. It is a bad situation".
"How to control air pollution in Delhi, two days lockdown or what. How will people live in Delhi?" queried the Chief Justice. The top court will continue to hear the matter Monday.