New Delhi: The Supreme Court came down heavily on the state governments for the toxic smog that engulfs New Delhi and NCR.  “This can’t go on. Delhi government and Centre can't just pass the buck to each other. People aren't safe even inside their houses and rooms,” the court said.

The court asked why crops continue to be burnt every year and the government doesn't do anything about it.

The Supreme Court has ordered that its directions be widely publicised, and a fine of Rs 1 lakh be imposed on garbage burning. A fine of Rs 5,000 has been imposed on dumping trash in Delhi-NCR.

The bench was told by senior advocate Aparajita Singh, who is assisting the apex court as an amicus curiae in the air pollution matter, that as per the Centre's affidavit crop burning has gone up by 7 per cent in Punjab and is down by 17 per cent in Haryana.

Meanwhile, the odd-even scheme in the national capital kicked in from 8am today as pollution levels peaked to a three-year high in Delhi and a thick smog enveloped the city, prompting hundreds of distraught people to say they wanted to leave the city due to poor air quality. On Monday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) showed major pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 were both at 500 — in the ‘severe' category.