Supreme Court Raps Delhi, Punjab Governments Over Air Pollution
© AFP 2023 ARUN SANKARCommuters make their way along a road amid heavy smoggy conditions in New Delhi on November 5, 2023. Authorities in the smog-ridden Indian capital New Delhi on November 5 extended an emergency schools closure by a week, with no signs of improvement in the megacity's choking levels of pollution.
© AFP 2023 ARUN SANKAR
India’s capital city Delhi is grappling with severe air pollution, as the air quality remains in the “very poor” category. Several petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court about worst air quality in the national capital.
The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday sharply rebuked the Delhi and Punjab governments over severe air pollution in the national capital.
A bench of Justices S.K. Kaul and S. Dhulia while hearing a clutch of petitions about air pollution in Delhi every winter asked both the states to take action against the burning of agricultural waste.
Notably, the governments in Delhi and Punjab are led by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The court also asked Punjab government to offer measures of support to farmers in terms of settling agricultural waste so that they don’t burn it and it doesn’t deteriorate air quality in the state as well as neighbouring Delhi further.
“This is the most polluted November in six years... the problem is known (and) it is your job to control it,” the court told the state governments of Delhi and Punjab as well as Uttar Pradesh.
“For poor farmers, the state should fund 100 per cent of machinery... this is the duty of the state,” the court said.
The apex court also suggested that farmers who are burning stubble should be deprived of Minimum Support Price (MSP) benefits as a part of the economic repercussions of their actions.
13 November, 12:25