Published: Thu, November 09, 2017
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

But crop burning continues

But crop burning continues

In its suo motu cognisance of several media reports in this regard, the Commission has sought reports, within two weeks, from the different Union Ministries and Punjab and Haryana Governments about the effective steps taken and proposed to be taken by them to tackle the situation. In a statement, the NHRC said: "The state can not leave its citizens to die due to the toxic haze".

The Indian Medical Association said the capital was witnessing a "public health emergency" and has appealed to the government to stop outdoor sports and other such activities in schools to protect the health of children.

The commission said it had taken a serious view of the "life-threatening" pollution in the Delhi-NCR.

However, he said that people and Government of Delhi are ready to take all steps but these steps will not be enough until a solution to crop burning is found.

It said there was an immediate need for effective action by agencies at the Centre and states.

Promoting use of more efficient and less polluting energy sources, restricting growing number of vehicles and stringent enforcement of pollution laws will help in smooth transition to a more environment-friendly economy in the long-term, he added. "Right to life is being snatched from people since they're not getting a clean environment", said the NGT. "The toxic smog in the atmosphere of the city has become an annual health hazard, particularly, at the time when the winters are about to start".

"A bench headed by the NGT Chairperson Justice Swantanter Kumar said: "No construction activity will be carried out on structures until further orders... all industrial activities in Delhi-NCR which are causing emissions will also not be allowed to carry on their functioning" till November 14". In Delhi, however, the AQI levels are already at the 300 to 400 range.

The thick blanket of smog covering the national capital and neighbouring regions kept the alarm bells ringing on Wednesday.

The maximum air quality in the national capital and its nearby areas is hovering between 400-700, which is above the danger level. "One of the news websites reports that the situation is the worst, as it has touched the 1,000 mark on the air quality index, in certain parts of Delhi", the NHRC statement said.

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