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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Consider hydrogen-based fuel: Supreme Court to government on worsening air quality

Taking suo motu cognizance of the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to submit a report by December 3 after centre told the court that was exploring the feasibility of the hydrogen-based technology.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2019 13:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
People walk through smog and low visibility on Wednesday morning in New Delhi as air quality once again dipped to ‘severe’ category.
People walk through smog and low visibility on Wednesday morning in New Delhi as air quality once again dipped to ‘severe’ category.(Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)
         

On the day air quality in Delhi-NCR plummeted to ‘severe’ category, and is expected to dip further, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the government to assess the feasibility of switching to Japanese Hydrogen-based fuel tech.

Hydrogen fuel is a zero-emission fuel burned with oxygen. When consumed in a fuel cell, it produces only water. Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of domestic resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the worsening air quality, the Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, asked the Centre to submit a report by December 3 after centre told the court that was exploring the feasibility of the technology.

“In our view, little constructive efforts have been made by the government and other stakeholders to find solution to the problem,” the top court bench said adding that they had taken up the issue in the interest of the ‘vast majority of Indians.’

The SC hearing came as the air quality continued to deteriorate in the Delhi-NCR region, moving deeper into the ‘severe’ zone and expected to worsen.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data shows that at 6.40am, the average air quality index (AQI) of Delhi reached 457. On Tuesday, the overall AQI of the city at 4pm was recorded 425.

Scientists and weather experts said that low wind speed will continue to impact the national capital’s air quality till Thursday, with a possibility of the levels dipping further to reach ‘severe+’ category by tomorrow. The change in wind direction from easterly to northwesterly in the last two days has also pushed toxic smoke from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, where crop stubble burning incidents are on a high.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) led Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) task force is scheduled meet on Wednesday, to assess pollution control measures in the city. The ban on polluting industries and the need to put into place additional dust control measures will be discussed in the meeting.