Tuesday August 14, 2018

Delhi Smog: Odd-Even Car Rule May Return; Consider Cloud Seeding to curb Pollution : HC

The court said that though stubble-burning was the "visible villain", authorities should address the "other elephants in the room" such as dust generated by road and construction activity as well as vehicular and industrial pollution.

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Issuing a slew of direction as immediate measures to control pollution in Delhi-NCR, the court banned felling of trees, ordered sprinkling of water on roads to control dust. Pixabay
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New Delhi, November 9, 2017 : The Delhi High Court on Thursday said there was an “emergency situation” vis-a-vis pollution in Delhi-NCR region and asked the Delhi government to consider vehicular odd-even scheme and cloud seeding to induce artificial rain.

The court also asked the Centre to hold meetings with Delhi and National Capital Region authorities to bring in short-term measures to control pollution immediately and to submit a report to it on November 16, the next date of hearing.

Issuing a slew of direction as immediate measures to control pollution in Delhi-NCR, the court banned felling of trees, ordered sprinkling of water on roads to control dust and strict enforcement of construction code to ensure that the air was not polluted.

A Division Bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also directed the Chief Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Control to call an emergency meeting with his counterparts in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and pollution control agencies within three days to discuss ways to curb pollution.

The bench said the Chief Secretaries will also consider the feasibility of cloud seeding to bring down air pollution. This, the bench said, was not a very expensive process and Bengaluru had adopted it.

The court asked the Delhi government to consider bringing back the odd-even scheme — under which vehicles of odd and even registration numbers, with exceptions, ply on roads on designated days — to control traffic congestion and unclog the capital.

But the court questioned the government move to increase parking rates by four times.

“If somebody has to go to a hospital or buy important items, he ends up paying four times more for the parking,” the bench said.

The court said that though stubble-burning was the “visible villain”, authorities should address the “other elephants in the room” such as dust generated by road and construction activity as well as vehicular and industrial pollution.

“London has faced this kind of air pollution. They term it as pea soup fog, which is a killer fog. This is a deadly mixture of construction and vehicular dust and other factors,” the bench said.

The court also directed the Delhi government to conduct a survey of all hospitals in the national capital on availability of oxygen to deal with emergency situations with regard to vulnerability of children and senior citizens.

It told the Delhi government to strictly regulate the entry of trucks into the city.

The court was hearing a suo motu case it initiated in 2015 to control air pollution in the national capital. (IANS)

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After HC Quashed Its Notification, Delhi Government Seeks Legal Advice on Minimum Wages Verdict

Delhi Government seeks legal help after High Court quashed minimum wage verdict

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Gopal Rai, Member of AAP Government
Gopal Rai, Member of AAP Government.

The Delhi government on Sunday said it is seeking legal advice on the further course of action after the Delhi High Court quashed its notification on minimum wages.

Expressing his disappointment over the Court’s decision, Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai said that the government is studying the verdict and “will arrive at a conclusion on how to ensure the implementation of revised higher minimum wages” for workers in all categories.

“I have convened a meeting of the Labour Department on Monday to decide the future course of action, including the next legal remedy available to the government,” Rai said.

AAP Government seeking legal help after Delhi High Court quashed minimum wages verdict
AAP Government seeking legal help after Delhi High Court quashed minimum wages verdict. 

The Delhi High Court on Saturday quashed two notifications, issued last year by the Delhi Government, relating to revision of minimum wages for all classes of workmen in all scheduled employments by calling it “completely flawed”.

“The constitution of the committee was completely flawed and its advice was not based on relevant material and suffers from non-application of mind,” the bench said while setting aside the Delhi government notification setting up the advisory panel on minimum wages.

Also Read: Delhi Govt approaches High Court to challenge court’s order on the nursery admissions

“The government’s decision based on such advice is in violation of the statutory provision, principles of natural justice, denies fair representation to the employers as well as the employees… in fact it is even without any effort to gather relevant material and information,” the bench had said. (IANS)