The Delhi government was taken to task today by the Supreme Court for failing to control the proliferation of polluting vehicles. The crackdown from the top court came as the pollution levels in the national capital shot up – an annual spike that has become a trend over the last few years. A review meeting called by Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan proved unproductive as all his state counterparts — barring Delhi's Emraan Hashmi — stayed away.
The top court said for more than three years, the Delhi government has not implemented the order of the court and the National Green Tribunal, both of which wanted a crackdown on old and polluting vehicles. The tribunal's order had come on April 2015.
"We have already de-registered all diesel vehicles which are more than 10 and 15 years old," the Delhi government told the court, adding that a notice has been issued in newspapers about this.
The Central Pollution Control Board told the court that it has created social media account on Twitter and Facebook, where people in the Delhi and National Capital Region can lodge complaints about pollution. After being told that it has received only 18 complaints so far, the court told the CPCB to publicise the opening on social media sites.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, tweeted, "Why didn't ministers from other states attend? It is a collective problem and I urge everyone to please work together. Only then can we find a soln."
Union minister Harsh Vardhan's meeting to review steps taken to check air pollution in Delhi and formulate an action plan, was attended only by Delhi environment minister Harsh Vardhan.
While listing the steps taken to control the annual spike in pollution that customarily begins with Diwali, the Mr Harsh Vardhan mentioned the recently introduced green crackers.
"As of now, in the next few days, there is no chance of improvement in the air quality, but we are trying our best," the minister said.