With Delhi and close by cities blanketed in smog for over per week now, the Supreme Court right now advised the central authorities to prioritise an emergency plan over long-term measures as Chief Justice NV Ramana stated, “You see how bad the situation is….even in our houses, we are wearing masks.”
Asking the centre and states to submit their response by Monday, the Chief Justice stated: “You tell us how do you plan to take the emergency measures? Two-day lockdown? What is your plan on lowering the AQI (Air Quality Index) levels?”.
An emergency assembly might be held later right now between the centre and states, together with Punjab and Haryana, the courtroom was advised. “Look at the issue by going beyond (the) responsibility of governments (centre or states). Something needs to happen so that we feel better at least for next two-three days,” the Chief Justice stated.
Breathing the Delhi air is “like smoking 20 cigarattes a day,” the state authorities admitted within the courtroom, stressing, “We agree to the gravity of the situation.” As the nationwide capital noticed the season’s worst air high quality on Friday, the central air pollution watchdog suggested folks to remain indoors.
Assuring that steps are being taken to cease stubble burning, a major issue amid a rise within the air air pollution, the central authorities, placing the onus on Punjab, had earlier advised the courtroom, “We are taking steps to stop stubble burning. But in (the) last five-six days the kind of pollution, we have seen is because of (the) stubble burning in Punjab. The state government needs to buckle up…”
To this, the Chief Justice replied, “Why are you projecting like (the) pollution is because of farmers? It is only a certain percentage of pollution. What about the rest? What are you doing to control the pollution in Delhi? You tell us what is your proper plan…not about 2-3 days.”
If farmers do not get an incentive, a change is unlikely, Justice DY Chandrachud identified, including, “Enforcement can’t happen just like that.” Despite subsidy, many farmers should not in a position to purchase machines for stubble burning, the courtroom noticed.
“It has become a fashion for everyone to bash the farmers. You banned firecrackers but what about what has been happening in last 5-6 days,” Justice Surya Kant stated.
However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the centre, later clarified, “We are not saying that it’s only farmers. We never said that.”
In a pointy rebuke to the Delhi authorities, the courtroom additional stated: “You opened all schools two weeks back.. All kids are exposing their lungs to this hazardous air.”
The air high quality in Delhi and close by cities worsened final week after the ban on crackers was broadly violated on Diwali. Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana can also be believed to be a key contributor.
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