Published on: 15 November 2022 at 23:13 IST
The Delhi High Court said that it cannot close its eyes to the fact that the air quality in Delhi has been oscillating between ‘very poor’ to ‘severe’ category.
The bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad were hearing a suo motu petition initiated in the year 2015 concerning air pollution in Delhi.
“As of today, we are in the ‘very poor’ category. For the last few weeks, we have been oscillating between ‘severe’ to ‘very poor’ category… We can’t close our eyes to the fact,” Justice Subramonium Prasad said.
The judge’s remark came as the counsel appearing for the ‘Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas’ told the court that it has come up with a graded plan to deal with the pollution in the city and that the plan was put in place this season as well.
Earlier, Senior Advocate Kailash Vasdev, appearing for Amicus Curiae, apprised the court about the massive deforestation in the city and the condition of the city’s forests. Vasdev pointed to several areas in the national capital that were once forests but have now turned into unauthorized colonies.
He stated that the only way to deal with the rapid deforestation is to stop these illegal constructions. On this aspect also, Justice Prasad remarked that the court cannot close its eyes to the fact these constructions have come up in violation of rules and the same is known to authorities.
“End of the day we all live in Delhi. Can we close our eyes to the rampant construction? How did those construction come up as they are in violation of rules” Obviously it has not come overnight? Persons responsible for this definitely know about it,” he said.
The Court directed Vasdev to file his submissions on the issue along with suggestions to deal with the issue of deforestation in the capital.
The case will now be considered on February 1, 2023.
Case Title – Court On Its Own Motion (Air Pollution in Delhi) v Union of India & Ors.