New Delhi, Dec 15

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed authorities concerned to map areas in the national capital that are the leading polluters of environment.

The court directive came after the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) told it that stubble burning in Punjab had put about 9,000 tonnes of PM 2.5 particulate matter in air in October and November, leading to severe pollution in the city.

The CPCB said burning of one tonne of dry paddy straw produces about 0.672 kg of PM 2.5 and 0.747 kg of PM 10, which do not dissipate easily from the environment.

Every year, between October and November, Punjab farmers burn approximately 14 million tonnes of paddy straw, the report added.

A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Ashutosh Kumar termed the figures "alarming" and said an effective way to reduce air pollutants was to have more green cover.

Stubble burning in Punjab has been blamed for air pollution in several parts of north India, particularly Delhi.

The court said it wanted the figure for the average ambient air quality for Delhi by excluding the figures from Anand Vihar, which recorded the highest air pollution level in Delhi.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) said Anand Vihar's high pollution level was due to the presence of a railway station, an inter-state bus terminal and chaotic traffic.

The court directed Delhi Traffic Police to rectify and rationalise the movement of traffic in the area.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on January 12, 2017.

The court is hearing public interest litigation against increasing air pollution in Delhi.

 

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