SC re-imposes ban on construction in Delhi, asks states to pay affected workers


The states shall use the funds which have been collected as labour cess for the welfare of construction workers, the order said

The order took note of the submissions of solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, that a plan for graded response has been prepared in pursuance of which measures are identified to be taken progressively on the basis of worsening levels of ambient air pollution.

The bench said as of now, the action is proposed after air quality has deteriorated and directed the commission to take preventive advance measures to deal with the rise in the air pollution.

Asking the panel to undertake a study, the order said such a study “must factor in seasonal variations and other relevant parameters”.

“Once a scientific model is available, which factors in wind velocity as well as natural and man-made phenomena, the graded response plan can be modulated to provide for measures being taken in advance, based on anticipated changes in air quality without waiting for the air quality to deteriorate.

“On this basis, steps can be planned at least a week in advance and even earlier, based on anticipated levels of air pollution in the foreseeable future. The Commission shall carry out the above exercise within a month and report the steps taken for compliance with this direction,” it said.

The apex court, which fixed the plea for hearing November 29, directed that in the meantime, the central government, Delhi-NCR states and the commission to take appropriate steps to deal with the situation.

Asking why Delhiites should suffer very poor air quality, the bench on Wednesday called for advance preventive steps to deal with the situation before it becomes severe, observing that any dip in pollution is because of the wind, an “act of God”, which too may come to zero by the end of the day.

The court also wondered what signal the country was sending to the world when the national capital was hit by air pollution, and told the Centre and the National Capital Region(NCR) states to continue with their measures to curb air pollution.

The order has been passed in a plea filed by Aditya Dubey seeking urgent steps to improve the air quality of Delhi-NCR.