NEW DELHI: Noting the improvement in the air quality levels of Delhi, the Supreme Court on Monday, December 9, partially lifted the ban on the construction activities in Delhi- NCR region. As per the new order by the apex court, the construction activities are allowed in the time frame 6 AM to 6 PM. A bench of Justice of Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta observed that air quality levels were no more “severe” in the National Capital Territory (NCT) and modified its previous judgement. The CPCB had issued an affidavit with the apex court, justifying the withdrawal of the ban for the stipulated time. The affidavit said that the steps were taken under the Grade Response Action Plan (GRAP). As per GRAP, construction activities are stopped if air quality levels reaches severe plus or emergency category which is when the PM2.5 or PM10 concentration reaches 300 µg/m3 or 500 µg/m3 respectively and persists for 48 hours or more.
On the issue of stubble burning, the bench asked the Centre to include environment secretaries in the high-level committee of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Also, the bench asked to submit a report by December 11 on the same. The SC has also directed DMRC to develop a plan to better manage traffic at metro stations.