The Supreme Court on 8 November 2016 asked the Union Government to devise a common minimum programme to deal with rising pollution. It has given 48 hours to the government to respond.
The court suggested that the common minimum graded response will come into action at different levels.
The direction was passed, by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice TS Thakur, while hearing a plea on the rising level of pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas. Justice AK Sikri and Justice SA Bobde were the other members of the bench.
The Apex Court also asked the government to apprise it about the policy, if any, to tackle the issue of rising pollution.
The plea was filed by the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) which has sought a proper monitoring of worsening pollution levels in these areas. EPCA that described the situation as a public emergency has urged the court to consider taking stringent action.
The court in its observation said that the air pollution limits have gone beyond permissible levels and the pollution in the capital should be dealt with as a public health emergency.