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Air Pollution Amounts to ‘Genocide’
Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:
1. Failure of the government to reduce air pollution amounts to ‘genocide’, the Delhi high court observed on Thursday. “Punjab stubble burning is killing us,” a bench of Justices B D Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar said, adding that Delhiites are being robbed of three years of their life due to alarming pollution levels. “It is literally capital punishment as the capital is being punished and that too for no offence. People are being killed in the capital,” an anguished bench remarked, equating reduction of life span due to government inaction as ‘genocide and murder.’
2. “As per a report, life expectancy would be 3.2 years less than what it ought to be. Assuming that population of Delhi is 20 million, it would mean that approximately 60 million life years are being robbed from the people of Delhi,” the bench said, slamming both central and Delhi governments for being concerned with `ballot box’ instead of human beings.
3. It pointed out that ‘despite repeated directions’ and public opinion, the “governments responsible have not acted in the manner they should have” on the menace of deteriorating air quality. The bench also saw satellite images submitted by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) showing stubble burning in northern India, to underline that level of pollutants in the air peaked in the first week of November due to biomass burning in Punjab.
4. “Unfortunately, the state of Punjab is in denial mode and contests allegations that they are responsible for air pollution in Delhi. Punjab has not taken action as have the states of Haryana and Rajasthan, despite our clear warning earlier,” the bench noted. It warned Punjab’s top civil servant, the chief secretary that he will face contempt unless he explains why “our directions were not carried out and what prevented him from doing so.” It gave the state time till November 18 to reply.
5. As regards landfill sites, the court expressed concern over the `fires simmering’ there aggravating air pollution and observed that the sole solution is to segregate garbage and use it for the generation of power.
6. The directions came on a PM the court initiated suomoto to monitor cleaning up of Delhi air. On the last date of hearing HC had asked the states of UP, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana to stop stubble burning to ward off the problem of haze. It referred to Delhi government’s proposal to convert the closed-down thermal power plant at Rajghat into a waste to energy plant and said the project, which is estimated to take 18 months from start to finish, should be started at the earliest. On reports submitted by Haryana and Rajasthan, the bench said these states are moving in the right direction as there is “no significant contribution (from stubble burning) from these states to Delhi.”
On the basis of your reading of the above passage, answer any eight of the following questions:
1. What does the failure of the government to reduce air pollution amount to?
2. What does the Court observe regarding the stubble burning in Punjab?
3. How does the alarming pollution levels affect the life of the people in the city?
4. Why did the level of pollutants peak in the first week of November?
5. Why did the Court warn Punjab’s top civil servant?
6. What did the Delhi High Court observe regarding the landfill sites?
7. What did the Court observe regarding the thermal power plant at Rajghat?
8. Why did the Court observe that the states of Haryana and Rajasthan are moving in the right direction?
9. Find a word in paragraph 5 that means the same as ‘increasing’.
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