The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday asked the Punjab government to submit an action plan on what steps it would take to curb stubble burning in the state. The green tribunal will also hear Delhi air pollution and stubble burning issue on Monday.
A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Singh and comprising of Justice Jawad Rahim and Justice R S Rathore said: “Tell us what steps have you taken since 2015 when we passed a detailed judgement. What have you done for setting up of biomass plants and pelletisation plants in the state? “Have you invited any thermal power plant to use agriculture residue? Did you provide any incentive or machines to the farmers? You people only know how to give speeches.”
The NGT also expressed its anguish over the conduct of the state government in handling the issue of stubble burning which leads to air pollution, and said “we are shocked the way you people are behaving. You have not given a single advertisement to sensitise the farmers. None of you have taken any step to show that you have any meaningful interest in the matter”.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the NGT had slammed Punjab and Haryana governments for filing generalised action plans to combat air pollution and directed them to refer to its previous judgments on the issue. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also summoned the environment secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, UP and Rajasthan asking them to give a ‘workable solution’ for combating the problem of pollution. Also Read: NGT raps Punjab, Haryana over their action plan on pollution
The tribunal was of the view that Punjab and Haryana were merely following the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority’s (EPCA’s) comprehensive action plan and not applying their own mind. During the proceedings, both the states told the green panel that a slew of measures including stopping construction work, burning waste, shutting schools and monitoring of industries causing emissions will be taken whenever pollution is beyond prescribed limits continuously for 48 hours.