The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Commission for Air Quality Management to invite suggestions from experts and citizens to find a permanent solution to air pollution woes in Delhi and its adjoining states, reported PTI.

A bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant said that once the suggestions are received, they have to be scrutinised by an experts’ panel formed by the commission, Live Law reported. The court said it would hear the matter again in February.

Every year, Delhi’s air pollution worsens in October and November because of unfavourable wind speed, local emission of traffic fumes and bursting of firecrackers during Diwali.

Since October, the Supreme Court has been hearing petitions seeking emergency steps to address the deteriorating air quality in the national capital.

On Thursday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the Centre has a committee, comprising experts of organisations such as the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, to find a long-term solution so that “knee jerk reaction for every year is not needed”, Bar and Bench reported.

Meanwhile, the court also took note of the air quality commission’s decision to revoke a ban on certain industries.

On Wednesday, the commission said that it has allowed milk and dairy processing units and industries engaged in medicines, drugs and life-saving equipment in the Delhi-National Capital Region to function without interruption. It has also allowed paper and pulp processing units and paddy, rice, textile and garment industries to work five times a week.

Solicitor General Mehta told the court that many industries were earlier allowed to function only for eight hours but some of them need to work continuously.

“So we have limited it to five days a week and we have staggered it further,” he said.

However, the ban on construction activities will remain for the time being and schools will also continue to function virtually, the commission said.

Mehta added that while no new thermal plants will be shut, there was no plan to reopen the ones that have been closed. He also told the court that construction activities at hospitals have been allowed.

“There is continuous inspection by the 40 flying squads [for violations],” the solicitor general said.

The court said that it will take a decision regarding the construction ban on Friday.

Meanwhile, the court also noted that the air quality in Delhi remained in the “very poor” category on Thursday.

Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index is in the “very poor” category at 329 as of 2.30 pm on Thursday, according to real-time data available on System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, or Safar.