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Judiciary

Delhi's Air Pollution: Supreme Court directs Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and Delhi to stop stubble burning

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      07 November, 2023 01:55 PM      0 Comments
Delhis Air Pollution Supreme Court directs Punjab Haryana UP Rajasthan and Delhi to stop stubble burning

NEW DELHI: Maintaining that there can't be political battle and blame game all the time, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and Delhi governments to stop crop burning forthwith as it is resulting into murder of people's health.

The court made local SHO responsible to implement the direction under supervision of DGP and Chief Secretary.

Hearing the issue related to Delhi pollution, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia told the Punjab government led by Advocate General that it has to stop stubble burning either by forceful action or by incentives.

"Stubble burning is substantial part of pollution. It must go. It is a major issue and contributor. Growing of paddy is a problem. Something has to be done immediately. This crop is also destroying the water table of the State. Minimum Support Price is leading to smuggling of grains from other states," the bench said.

Holding air pollution is a complete murder of the health of the people living in Delhi, the bench said, "It can't be political battle all the time and blame game...we want it to be stopped."

The court also said schemes like Odd-Even to tackle such an issue was "mere optics".

"We want the issue to be sorted out tomorrow, so that it does not recur next year," the bench said.

The court directed for holding of a meeting of all stakeholders on Wednesday as it fixed to consider take up the matter on Friday.

Upon hearing Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, senior advocate Vikas Singh, Gopal Sankaranarayanan and amicus curiae senior advocates Aparajita Singh and A D N Rao and others, the bench said there are many tipping points of the problem, apart from the stubble  burning and vehicular pollutions.

The bench said the residents of Delhi are suffering because we fail to find solutions to aggravated problem in this period.

"This is on going for five years. It is time to do something. The matter requires immediate attention and court monitoring," the bench added.

The court also directed the Centre to consider phasing out paddy cultivation in Punjab, even though it is not a native or local crop, by giving out MSPs on other alternative crops like millets.

"Switch over is necessary, central government is anyway encouraging other crops," the bench said.

The court also noted suggestions by the Punjab government that farmers are doing it due to economic reasons, alternatives not adhered to due to obstinacy or cost, expensive machines are purchased even 25% paid by farmers they are unwilling.

The Punjab government said it is ready is to bear 25% cost and 25% can be brone by Delhi, and the Centre should provide 50%. There is no reason why cost not be borne by Centre, it said.

Mehta referred to Delhi CM's suggestion that some solution can be sprinkled which converts stubble into fertilizer. Let them say if it is effective or not, he said.

The court also took into account a suggestion by Sankaranarayanan that ethnol can be made out of paddy as suggested by the Union government.
 



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