The Pinnacle Court says to the union government that 'We will conclude this matter' regarding Delhi air pollution

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Hearing a petition pertaining to the air pollution crisis in Delhi NCR on Wednesday, a special bench of the Supreme Court expressed concern that the air quality could deteriorate further.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant said that steps should instead be taken anticipating a rise in air pollution. The plea was filed by 17-year-old Delhi student Aditya Dubey.

Three weeks on, Delhi and nearby cities continue to remain enveloped into hazardous air. The Supreme Court strongly said that “This is the national capital. Look at the signal we are sending to the world. You have to predict the situation based on statistics... and take action in anticipation so that the situation does not go severe”.

Pulling up the Centre for not coming up with a solution to stubble burning, the court said: "We are using common sense to discuss the issues. What is the central and state bureaucracy doing? Why can't they go to the fields, talk to farmers and scientists and devise a permanent solution to prevent stubble burning."

Tushar Mehta, for his part, listed out measures including closure of thermal plants, educational institutions and stopping of entry of trucks till November 26. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Delhi government, submitted that the work for home for its employees has been extended till November 26.

"We wait for the weather to become severe before taking steps. You have to take measures in anticipation based on scientific study in the last five years," the bench said.

"We are not going to close this matter. We will continue with the matter almost every day or alternate day," the bench said.

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) on Wednesday morning was recorded at 280 in the 'poor' category, as per SAFAR-India.