Observing that the situation in Delhi is grave in connection with the rising levels of pollution, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday said that "stubble burning may be the visible villain but there are other contributory factors too."
The court asked the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan to inform them about the action taken against stubble burning.
Meanwhile, 8000 masks have been distributed to CISF personnel involved in the security of Delhi Metro, 5000 to those in Airport security and about 1000 to the rest stationed in various parts of the state.
Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has said that it must be ensured that public transport service is intensified and there are more buses on the road.
The authority has also asked the Delhi government to prepare for any eventuality if the pollution situation worsens. These also include the introduction of odd-even scheme for private vehicles based on license plate numbers with minimal exceptions.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has also asked directed the government of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to inform it about what preventive steps were taken to tackle air pollution.
Delhi was on Tuesday engulfed in a blanket of smoke forcing the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to declare a public health emergency. Pollution levels breached the permissible standards by multiple times on Tuesday.
Reacting to the situation, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: "Delhi has become a gas chamber. Every year this happens during this part of year. We have to find a soln to crop burning in adjoining states."
The rapid fall in air quality and visibility began on Monday evening as moisture combined with pollutants shrouded the city in a thick cover of haze. By 10 am on Tuesday, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded 'severe' air quality, meaning the intensity of pollution was extreme.