New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up on the Centre and state governments and summoned Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to appear before it and on stubble burning and pollution issue, after the toxic haze in the Delhi’s national capital region reached ‘hazardous’ levels.
The top court has also directed the Delhi government to take advice from experts on controlling a further downgrading of the Air Quality Index (AQI). It has also ordered the Kejriwal-led government to produce data or records by Friday to prove that ‘Odd-Even’ scheme has reduced pollution in Delhi, even as autos/taxis continue to ply the roads.
“This is a gross violation of fundamental right to life. Various state governments and civic bodies have failed to discharge their duties,” said Justice Arun Mishra during the SC hearing on Delhi pollution.
Justice Mishra also slammed the Delhi government seeking the logic behind the odd-even car scheme. “What is the logic behind the odd-even scheme? Banning diesel vehicles we can understand, but what is the point of the odd-even scheme,” he said.
Earlier today, the apex court came down heavily on the central as well as Delhi government while taking up a report by the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) on the pollution caused by stubble-burning. A bench of the SC asserted that there is ‘passing of buck’ and things can not go on like this.
“Delhi is choking every year under our nose and we are not able to do anything. Every year this is happening and this continues for 10-15 days, this is not done in civilized countries. ‘Right to life’ is most important”, the SC stated.
The top court has decided to hear the matter on air pollution next on November 6.