Information about the Issue:
In a Supreme Court Judgement dated December 2, 2016 (M.C. Mehta v Union Of India), the Court directed the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to prepare and implement a plan to eliminate the problem of excessive air pollution in Delhi-NCR. Thereafter, the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was prepared and implemented by the EPCA, in collaboration with government experts, for different Air Quality Index (AQI) categories – Moderate & Poor, Very Poor and Severe.
Despite the implementation of GRAP in NCR since 2017, the air quality in the city of Delhi has not improved to a great extent. The government of Delhi even had to declare a Public Health emergency in November 2019 when the Air Quality Index breached the 800 mark in some areas due to pollution from vehicles, factories, and firecrackers- the primary source being the burning of crop stubble across Punjab and Haryana. (more…)