Top Court Says Delhi Faces ‘Emergency’ Pollution Situation: PTI
(Bloomberg) -- India’s Supreme Court said New Delhi and its neighboring areas are in an emergency situation with air pollution so bad that people wear masks inside their houses, the Press Trust of India reported.
The court asked the central government and the Delhi administration to take urgent measures to improve the air quality and suggested steps such as stopping vehicles or imposing a lockdown in India’s capital city, the report said, citing comments by the top court’s bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana.
The air quality index, or AQI, for New Delhi was at 580 at 1:30 p.m. local time, according to website IQAir, which monitors air pollution around the world. Readings below 50 are considered safe, while anything above 300 is considered hazardous.
While the Indian capital suffers severe air pollution every year in winter as farmers burn crop stubble, excessive reliance on fossil fuels, which form three-fourths of India’s energy needs, compound the problem.
Air pollution costs Indian businesses $95 billion or roughly 3% of its GDP every year, according to U.K.-based non-profit Clean Air Fund and the Confederation of Indian Industry.
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