The Supreme Court voiced severe concern today with the government’s failure to reduce pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region. The court advised that in the next two to three days, emergency measures should be made to remedy the situation. The installation of a lockdown in Delhi for a few days, if required, should also be considered. After speaking with the individual states, the central government pledged that quick action would be done. The judge then postponed the hearing until Monday.
Even after 1 year, the situation in Delhi remains the same
A student called Aditya Dubey filed a petition last year over the pollution in Delhi between the months of October and November. All of the arguments in the appeal were dropped, including the burning of crop residue, or stubble, in Punjab and Haryana. In a hearing held last year, the Supreme Court requested that the responsibility be transferred to Justice Madan B Lokur, a retired judge, due to the failure of the federal and state governments to address the problem. The federal government then appointed a 15-member commission and asked the court not to appoint any former judges to the position. This request was granted by the court. However, the scenario in Delhi has remained unchanged for the past year.
You just want to blame farmers, according to the Supreme Court
A special hearing on the case was held on Saturday by Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud, and Justice Surya Kant. The Center stated at the outset of the hearing that numerous actions are being done to address the situation. Punjab will be forced to take drastic measures. Fines will be imposed on those who burn stubble. This did not sit well with the judges. According to the Chief Justice, “You just want to point the finger at the farmers. Another factor accounts for 70% of pollution. That’s something I don’t want to discuss.”
“The government is talking about two lakh devices to deal with stubble,” the justices said. But how much does this equipment cost? Is it possible for a regular farmer to purchase it? The government also claims that crop residue may be used to generate electricity. Farmers, on the other hand, have reached an arrangement with thermal power firms. Farmers are obligated to clear the land in preparation for the next crop. The argument is, if they are not required to burn the residue, what facilities has the government provided for this? Instead of punishing them, why don’t you talk about encouraging them? What percentage of farmers have received bio-decomposer? What proportion of the overall land area does this represent? The court also stated that blaming farmers solely on the basis of industrial smoke, car pollution, dust, and crackers is incorrect.
We are not blaming a single country. – Attorney General
The Solicitor General, who was put on the defence by the court’s decision, stated that he is not blaming any particular class or state. Other concerns are also being worked on. Mehta requested that he be given until Monday to respond to all of the questions.
The Chief Justice stated that the situation has deteriorated to the point where emergency measures are required. We expect things to improve in the following two to three days. The AQI rating has above 500, indicating that the situation is under control. If a few days of lockdown in Delhi is required for this, then that should be considered as well. According to the Center’s legal counsel, an emergency meeting of the Pollution Control Commission has been scheduled for today. This will involve representatives from all 50 states. Steps will be taken as quickly as possible, and efforts will be made to get the situation under control as soon as possible. The Supreme Court deferred the case to Monday, November 15, taking this guarantee into consideration.
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