IMA in HC to post­pone Delhi Half Marathon

Millennium Post - - CITY - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has is­sued a no­tice to the Delhi gov­ern­ment and other agen­cies over the post­pone­ment of Delhi Half Marathon due to poor air qual­ity. Terming the air qual­ity in the na­tional cap­i­tal as poor and un­safe, the In­dian Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion (IMA) on Tues­day urged the Delhi High Court to pass di­rec­tions to post­pone the Delhi Half Marathon.

Tak­ing note of the present air pol­lu­tion in the city and the ur­gency ex­pressed by the IMA, a bench of Jus­tices S Ravin­dra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva is­sued no­tice to the Delhi gov­ern­ment, po­lice, the pol­lu­tion con­trol panel DPCC and the or­gan­is­ers of the event and sought their re­ply by Novem­ber 16, the next date of hear­ing.

The or­der came in a let­ter writ­ten by the IMA to Act­ing Chief Jus­tice Gita Mit­tal and the Delhi Chief Min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal seek­ing to post­pone of the marathon, sched­uled to be held on Novem­ber 19. The let­ter was moved in the main PIL ini­ti­ated by the high court to ad­dress air pol­lu­tion prob­lems of Delhi and in which it has been is­su­ing di­rec­tions from time to time. The high court had on Novem­ber 9 is­sued a slew of di­rec­tions to im­prove the air qual­ity of Delhi.

Is­su­ing no­tice to the Delhi gov­ern­ment, po­lice, Delhi Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Com­mit­tee (DPCC) and or­gan­is­ers of the Half Marathon, a di­vi­sion bench of Jus­tice Ravin­dra Bhat and Jus­tice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked them to file their re­sponses be­fore Novem­ber 16, the next date of hear­ing. The High court has been hear­ing a Suo moto case which it ini­ti­ated in 2015 to con­trol air pol­lu­tion in the na­tional cap­i­tal. Call­ing it an "emer­gency sit­u­a­tion", the high court had asked the gov­ern­ment to con­sider the op­tion of "cloud seed­ing" to in­duce rain­fall ar­ti­fi­cially, as an im­me­di­ate step to bring down the dust and par­tic­u­late mat­ter in the at­mos­phere. It had di­rected the Delhi gov­ern­ment to se­ri­ously con­sider a ban on fur­ther con­struc­tion in the city to the ex­tent pos­si­ble and im­ple­ment­ing the 'odd-even' ve­hi­cle us­age scheme as a short­term mea­sure.

It had said that the fog was a "deadly mix­ture of ve­hic­u­lar pol­lu­tion, con­struc­tion and road dust and stub­ble burn­ing."

Di­rec­tions were also is­sued by the bench to the Delhi Traf­fic Po­lice to en­sure there is no ve­hic­u­lar con­ges­tion on the roads and pro­vide masks to the per­son­nel on duty. The bench had also or­dered the Union En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary to hold a meet­ing in the next three days of the chief sec­re­taries of Delhi, Pun­jab, Haryana and Ut­tar Pradesh to work out a joint short-term plan to bring down air pol­lu­tion.

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