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'Send them to jail': SC raps civic agencies on pollution

Send them to jail: SC raps civic agencies on pollution
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NEW DELHI: As air quality in the national capital became "very poor" on Monday, the Supreme Court admonished the centre and civic agencies for lack of action in pollution-related complaints. The court said that the local agencies - the municipalities -have failed to address the grievances of the citizens and lax officials should be put behind bars.

The centre informed the court that 749 pollution complaints were received through social media and over 3,000 through the "Sameer" app, a mobile application launched by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to enable people to register their complaints, between November 1 and 24.

Some complaints have been dealt with, but others are pending because they have to be addressed by local agencies, the centre said.

"Prosecute the local agencies. Send them to jail. That is the only option left," the top court said. Will do, said the centre.

Meanwhile, Delhiites woke up to a hazy morning on Monday, with monitoring stations recording air quality in the "very poor" category, a day after the city witnessed an 'unusual improvement' in the conditions, officials said.

The overall air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 320 - in the "very poor" category, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Anand Vihar recorded "severe" air quality. The AQI in 23 areas was registered in the "very poor" category, while the situation was "poor" in 12 areas.

The level of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 179, and the PM10 level was recorded at 338.

In the NCR region, Ghaziabad recorded the worst air quality with an AQI of 398. Greater Noida and Noida's air quality was registered in the "very poor" category. Faridabad and Gurgaon recorded moderate air quality, according to CPCB data.

According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), Delhi's air quality will remain in the "poor" category, amid a gradual increase in the pollution level, for the next two days.

"The increase in pollution can be attributed to a decline in wind speed as compared to past two days. All other meteorological factors were already unfavourable," the SAFAR said in a report.

President Ram Nath Kovind also voiced his concern over rising pollution levels on Monday and said, "Social justice is about providing equal opportunities".Social justice remains the touchstone of our nation-building. If a child has asthma due to air pollution, it is lack of social justice."

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