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Dated Nov 5, 2022

SC to hear PIL on Delhi's air pollution on November 10

Human Rights Commission Summons Chief Secretaries Of 4 States

Delhi: Supreme Court on Friday agreed to list for hearing on November 10 a PIL seeking fresh guidelines on stubble burning to curbrising air pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR).

A bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi took note of the submissions of lawyer Shashank Shekhar Jha, who filled the PIL in his personal capacity that the air pollution situation has worsened due to stubble burning in areas close to Delhi.

"Even normal people cannot walk in such a situation," the lawyer said, adding that "Air Quality Index (AQI) level has risen due to stubble burning." "List it on November 10," the CJI said.

The petition also sought a direction to the schools, col leges and government and private offices to go virtual/online.

"The matter is of grave mediate intervention of the concern which requires imcourt," the petition said. The plea sought appointment of a "high-level committee" under the chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court judge to tackle the air-pollution crisis due to stubble burning.

"Issue an order or guidelines to each and every state to take necessary measures in order to reduce the pollution including installation of smog-towers, plantation drive, affordable public transport, etc," it further said.

It also sought a direction to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to personally take responsibility of no case of stubbleburning anywhere. Meanwhile, The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday expressed dissatisfaction over the various actions taken by the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi so far to control increasing air pollution in Delhi NCR, and asked the chief secretaries of the four states to be present before it on November 10 for a detailed discussion on the same.

Govt suspends physical classes: schools parents welcome move

The Several schools in Delhi-NCR and parents of students welcomed the government's announcement on holding online classes for primary grades in view of rising pollution, and expressed hope that concerted efforts would be made by the authorities as well as people to address the recurring problem.

Experts suggested that the government should rejig vacation schedule in schools as pollution turns severe in winter season every year.

The Delhi government on Friday announced that primary schools in the national capital will remain shut from Saturday till further orders while outdoor activities will before curtailed for senior classes amid worsening air quality in the city. According to Pallavi Upadhyaya, principal of Delhi Public School (DPS), Raj Nagat Extension, the school will con duct online classes during the period.

"We respect the decision taken by authorities and pla on conducting online classes te ensure that there is no learnin loss for children. Teachers an students are already adept a comfortable with online cla es, so we don't expect any te nical hurdles or glitches. Eclasses are already being ducted in the evening in on mode. So, for us logging classes will never be a ha she said.