‘Why Don’t Govt Officers Use Public Transport’: What Supreme Court Said On Measures To Curtail Delhi Air Pollution

The Central government on Wednesday expressed its unwillingness before the Supreme Court to ask its employees to work from home and instead it has advised its employees in the national capital to resort to carpooling to reduce the number of vehicles used by them for commuting.

The Centre through an affidavit told the Apex Court that the number of vehicles used by the Central government is a minuscule fraction of the total vehicles in the national capital and stopping their plying would not make much impact towards improving the air quality of Delhi. The Centre in its affidavit point outs directives issued by the Commission for air quality management for Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas that included a ban on entry of trucks in Delhi till November 21 except trucks carrying essential commodities, closure of thermal plants, ban on construction and demolition activities, deployed anti-smog guns and water sprinklers etc.

The Central Government has also considered the possibility of functioning under online mode i.e. “work from home”. In this regard, it is submitted that in the recent past, several governmental functions were impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic for substantially a long period of time which entailed pan India ramifications.

Here are points you need to know about what Supreme Court said on measures to curtail air pollution in Delhi:

1. CJI NV Ramana said that there has to be some responsibility, not everything can be done through judicial order; asks the reason for the burning of firecrackers in Delhi in the past 10 days after Diwali.

2. SC says what it’s seeing is the plight of farmers. People sitting in Delhi in 5, 7-star hotels criticise how they contribute 4, 30 or 40% to pollution. Have you seen their (farmers) earning per landholding?CJI says we ignore the fact that firecrackers are burning despite the ban?

3.SC tells Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi that its focus is pollution, and he is raising issues that are not relevant. SC said, “We have taken care of this and said in our order to request farmers to not be involved in stubble burning for two weeks.”
4. You all say the vehicle is the main cause, but gas guzzlers, hi-fi cars run on Delhi roads. Who’ll encourage them to stop this? Delhi says no point in banning vehicles or have WFH if not implemented in neighbouring states. We thought Commission will give us steps to stop this,” SC said.
5. Supreme Court suggests that Central government officers living in government colonies travel in public transport.

6. SC to hear the matter on air pollution next Wednesday. CJI observes “Bureaucracy has gone into inertia and they don’t want to do anything. Like using sprinklers or water buckets we have to say, this is the attitude of the executive.”

(With inputs from ANI)


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