New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday gave three months to the Centre and the Delhi government to set up a ‘smog tower’ pilot project at Connaught Place, here, to address the menace of air pollution.
A Bench, comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta, didn’t agree with authorities’ submissions seeking time until August-September 2020. “We don’t want to waste one more year,” said the Bench.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A.N.S. Nadkarni, representing the Centre, contended that it had filed an affidavit in this connection. Setting up of a smog tower under the pilot project would require at least six months, he submitted.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Delhi government, said the smog tower, being a pilot project, would require nearly nine months. The judges also held a short discussion with the IIT professor, who is part of the high-level committee examining various technologies, like smog towers and anti-smog guns, to combat air pollution.
Nadkarni said, those guns could be installed especially at construction sites. When the IIT professor submitted that smog tower would only be feasible by August or September 2020, the Bench asked why it couldn’t be done in three months.
The apex court asked the authorities concerned to sum up the budgetary allocation for such technology, and sought this information within a day to pass orders. “We are giving you three months for this pilot project,” it said.
On December 9, the court partially lifted ban on construction activities in the Delhi-NCR and allowed construction between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., after the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) informed the court that the air quality index (AQI) was not in the severe category.