Use world-class technology to fight air pollution: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday insisted that the Central government use world-class technology to address deteriorating air quality in Delhi-NCR region.

With the apex court having taken a strong stand to address the depleting air quality, and asked all the authorities concerned to work in unison, a senior faculty from IIT Bombay appeared before a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and informed the court there is a possibility of installing an air purification system at various spots, and the process may require close to eight months.

But the court said: “Air purification system to operate partially is not the solution, we need impact at bigger level.” As it queried if this technology is similar to smog towers installed at various spots in China, the faculty member replied that though it is somewhat similar, but the efficiency is the question before beginning large-scale installation of units.

The faculty insisted on conducting demonstration at the beginning level, which will ascertain the efficiency of the air purification units, and then exploring the possibility of large-scale installation.

At this, the court said: “Why would you want to go for small pockets, and in fact, why go for demonstration? We need the best technology to begin operations…and the range of this equipment could be as high as 10 km.”

The court observed Delhi should get the best technology in the world to fight pollution, as AQI is worse in rooms and it is much worse outside.

The bench told the Centre”s counsel to allocate funds to operationalise this air purification technology. It insisted on using this technology at pollution hotspots in Delhi.

“Use technology in hotspots, go for trials…it is something necessary, you have to succeed, make the roadmap and give it to us..Let decision on the matter be taken,” said the court insisting on introduction of technology to help create air quality for people in the city.

The bench noted that air quality index (AQI) is not improving at all despite data suggesting reduction in episodes of stubble burning in neighbouring states.

The Centre counsel mentioned WAYU, wind augmentation and purification unit, to improve air quality and trials are already in progress. The court asked the Centre to file affidavit on the steps taken to improve air quality.

The Central Pollution Control Board representative in the courtroom insisted on reducing local sources of air pollution.

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