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SC wants swift action against air pollution; Centre, state govts in NCR conduct emergency meeting
SC wants swift action against air pollution; Centre, state govts in NCR conduct emergency meeting
The Supreme Court has suggested imposition of a few days of lockdown in Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) in view of currently dangerous levels of air pollution. Ruing that people were being compelled to wear masks at home, CJI Justice NV Ramana deferred hearing for November 15 on a petition filed by a 17 year old boy Aditya Dubey seeking to curb air pollution in the national capital. Centre informed the top court that it was conducting a meeting with NCR state governments to take immediate steps to curb pollution as it feared that the ambient air quality may soon reach emergency levels, while it blamed the Punjab state government for failing to tackle the menace of crop stubble burning which led to the current situation. However, the apex court questioned the submission, observing that it had become a "fashion" for all governments to bash farmers while ignoring other aspects. The court questioned the efficacy of other pollution control measures like smog towers, ban on firecrackers and emission control projects, asking the Centre and state governments to take swift and concrete action to curb air pollution instead of apologising or blaming. Pointing to the fact that most schools in Delhi had reopened, the top court made it clear that children can't be subjected to such high levels of pollution. Asking the Centre and states to reply on what steps have been implemented in Delhi to combat air pollution, the court noted that action against stubble burning needs not just enforcement but also incentivisation. The court sought details of how many stubble cutting machines have been made available, their cost and the subsidy being given to farmers to abstain from burning stubble.
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