The committee's estimate is much higher than the government's serological surveys, which showed that only around 14% of the population had been infected, as of September.
The lapse of over two months of regular treatment, and access to it, during the lockdown was bound to spell disaster.
Justice Lokur is to be a single-judge committee to monitor and prevent instances of stubble-burning in three states.
Hyderabad city has received and ignored multiple warnings.
Several vessels turned off their GPS-based automatic identification systems (AIS), possibly to avoid discovery while partaking in illegal activities, several sources found.
If safety protocols are not followed during the festival season, however, India's recovery may be pushed off course, the panel has warned.