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Gopal Rai urges imposing lockdown in NCR, says joint-action plan needed to curb air pollution

ANI | November 15, 2021 04:38 PM
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai (Photo/ ANI)

New Delhi [India], November 15 (ANI): Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday urged the Haryana and Uttar Pradesh government to impose a lockdown in the National Capital Region (NCR) to curb the air pollution in Delhi-NCR and said that a joint-action plan is needed in the matter.

Speaking to ANI, Rai said, "The Delhi government is taking all the possible steps to curb the air pollution in the national capital. We have also submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court that we are ready for a lockdown. All the steps taken by the Delhi government will be effective only if Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh government will impose lockdown in the NCR regions."

"We are ready to take all measures with Centre and states. We will follow whatever SC directs. A joint-action plan is needed," he said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Central government to call for an "emergency meeting" on November 16 with Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh and sought an action plan to curb the air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant concluded that the major culprits of air pollution in the national capital are construction activities, industries, power plants, and vehicular transportation apart from stubble burning in some areas.

Posting the matter for hearing on November 17, the top court asked Haryana and Punjab governments to persuade the farmers to stop the stubble burning for a week.

Following the Supreme Court's suggestion, schools in Delhi and Haryana have been closed and all construction activities have also been suspended.

Delhi's air quality on Monday witnessed marginal improvement as the air quality in the capital city reached the lower end of 'very poor' category with Air Quality Index (AQI) at 318 (overall), according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). (ANI)

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