scorecardresearch
Saturday, Jan 28, 2023
Advertisement

SC raps Delhi, Punjab govts on pollution: ‘Want to rule from ivory tower and leave people to die’

"Can you permit people to die like this due to pollution? Can you permit the country to go back by 100 years," a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said.

Supreme Court on Delhi pollution, delhi air pollution, stubble burning in punjab and haryana, delhi air quality, The air quality in Delhi and the National Capital region (NCR) improved to ‘poor’ category on Wednesday. (File)

Coming down heavily on the governments of Delhi, Punjab and the Centre over pollution, the Supreme Court Wednesday said it was a question of life and death of crores of people in the Delhi-NCR region and authorities should be held responsible for its failure to curb it.

“Can you permit people to die like this due to pollution? Can you permit the country to go back by 100 years,” a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said.

WATCH | Delhi pollution: Supreme Court bans construction activities

The Supreme Court directed Punjab, Haryana and UP to provide support of Rs 100/quintal and necessary machines to small, marginal farmers who haven’t burned stubble, within seven days effective today. “Agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy and it’s bounden duty of the state to look after the interest of farmers,” the apex court ordered, urging the three states to prepare a comprehensive scheme to take care of environmental issues within three months.

Mincing no words, Justice Arun Mishra pulled up Punjab Chief Secretary for not taking proactive steps to curb stubble burning, which has been largely blamed for deteriorating air quality in neighbouring states during winters.

Subscriber Only Stories
The K Arun Prakash Interview: ‘My style is to highlight the composition a...
At international checkpoint, online system  helps vehicles cross over sea...
Experts say Adani Group stock sell-off may not affect market, but deepens...
Delhi Confidential: Lok Sabha Speaker wants MPs to learn lessons from Pad...

“Why can’t the government machinery stop stubble burning? Why the government can’t collect and purchase stubble from farmers? Punishing farmers is not the solution…you don’t even have a policy…you want to rule from ivory tower and leave people to die,” Justice Arun Mishra said.

READ | Supreme Court on pollution: Worse than Emergency

The Punjab Chief Secretary, however, acknowledged that the state did not have a policy for purchasing stubble from farmers. “We will suspend you from here…problem is all have forgotten the concept of welfare state,” Justice Mishra said.

The top court also said that if governments don’t bother about people, they have no right to be in power. “We expect more from democratic government of the country to deal with issue of stubble burning and curb pollution,” the bench said.

Advertisement

On Monday, the Supreme Court banned all construction activities and garbage burning in the National Capital Regional (NCR). A fine of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5,000 will be imposed on those violating the order.

“Don’t you feel ashamed that flights are being diverted and citizens are not safe even in their homes. It is a shocking state of affairs that there are unpaved routes and pits in the national capital of the country,” the apex court further said.

Justice Mishra also rejected Attorney General KK Venugopal’s suggestion to divide stubble burning zones into seven regions and allow farmers in each zone to burn crop residue taking turns. The Attorney General later clarified that the suggestion was not discussed with officers and he was making “a practical submission”.

-with PTI inputs

First published on: 06-11-2019 at 16:57 IST
Next Story

Inside the high-stakes race to build the world’s first flying taxi

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
close