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Three toddlers move SC against Delhi's peaking pollution graph

People watching the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghnad going up in smoke on Dussehra day.- File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt  

Three toddlers came knocking on the Supreme Court's door on Tuesday, demanding the highest court of the land act immediately against Delhi's spiralling pollution graph, especially the oncoming season of firecrackers.

Arjun Gopal and Aarav Bhandari, aged six months each, partnered with Zoya Rao Bhasin, all of 14 months old, to approach the Supreme Court, saying the pollution hits the youngest the hardest and there is no time to wait. They said the job of cleaning up Delhi cannot be left to a slow-moving State machinery.

Their petition, filed through their parents, said they are among the millions of Delhi residents who are forced to live in this toxic, unclean air with no hope or respite. Either they have to wait for the government or legislature to take steps or to seek the Supreme Court's help to enforce their fundamental right to live.

They said they are slowly choked by Delhi’s deadly air. Their petition says pollution not only affects them, but those generations of Indians yet to be born.

“Over the last two years, Delhi has retained the unique distinction of being the most polluted city in the world. The levels of particulate matter are highest, and across the country, over 700,000 deaths occur annually due to air pollution related diseases. Studies show that citizens have 30 percent lower lung capacity than Europeans, and that the children are the worst affected, as their lungs have not yet fully developed and their vulnerable systems are made vulnerable,” the petition contended.

Besides the constant onslaught of industrialisation, polluting trucks which pass through the city and burning of 500 million tons of crop residue in the States around the National Capital, the months of October and November witness the festivals of Dussehra and Diwali lead to massive risks to lung disease with firecrackers and fireworks clogging the atmosphere.

“While Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees the right to profess, practice and propagate religion, and hence celebrate festivals with all fervour and enthusiasm, it restricts such celebration on grounds of public order, morality and health,” the petition said, seeking a ban on firecrackers in “any form.”

The petition has also sought the immediate introduction of Bharat-V emission norms, stop dumping of dust and other pollutants and setting up of an independent expert bodies to review the State's work in curbing environmental degradation.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 1:36:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/three-toddlers-move-sc-against-delhis-peaking-pollution-graph/article7703036.ece

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