New Delhi, Feb 14 : The Supreme Court on Friday lifted the ban on construction activities in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), imposed on November 4 in view of the deteriorating air quality.
Senior advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as amicus curiae in the pollution matter, told a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Justice Deepak Gupta, that the ban can be completely lifted as it has served its purpose.
Additional Solicitor General A.N.S. Nadkarni, representing the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, contended before the court that the Delhi government has allocated a plot for the installation of smog towers at Connaught Place and Anand Vihar in the capital, and the work is in progress.
The apex court's decision came during the hearing of a plea filed by the India Trade Promotion Organisation. The apex court in December 9 lifted the partial ban on the construction activities, allowing construction activities between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., after the Central Pollution Control Board submitted the air quality index (AQI) level was not in the severe category.
The apex court also issued notice to Delhi government on the incidents of garbage burning in the city, and sought its response. The bench also asked the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to file affidavits regarding compliance of the court's direction in taking measures to curb pollution -- including stubble and garbage burning.
The bench asked all the states to file their compliance affidavits on the next date of hearing on February 28. The top court had issued notices to all states seeking various details, including measures taken to manage good air quality and disposal of garbage.