The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre over the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR and most other regions in northern India, ordering that the government look for an appropriate solution."
"The whole of North India is suffering and not much has been done by the government", criticised the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S. A. Bobde.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta relayed to the bench that the government is considering employing a hydrogen-based technology, devised by a Japanese university, to tackle the alarming levels of air pollution. The government feels quite confident that the new technology would be effective in combatting the problem.
The bench directed that the Centre examine the feasibility and the efficacy of the said technology and file its report on the same by December 3.
Taking serious note of the air pollution which has engulfed the Delhi-NCR area, the Supreme Court had last week passed a slew of directions.
The key directions are:
- Chief Secretaries of Punjab, UP and Haryana summoned on November 6 to brief the Court on measures to curb crop stubble burning.
- Directs Collectors and police officials to ensure that no further crop stubble burning takes place. Chief Secretaries, Collectors, Commissioners, Gram Pradhans and local administration will be held responsible if stubble burning takes place.
- Sarpanch of each and every panchayat and SHO of the concerned area to prepare inventory of incumbents who have burnt stubble in the area.
- Delhi government has been directed to take suggestions from experts and work with other bodies to tackle problem of garbage. EPCA to assist in preventing entry of diesel vehicles in Delhi.
- Directs ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi and NCR. Violaters would be penalized with ₹1 lakh.
- Puts a stop on coal based industries. Will be penalized if not followed.
- Municipal bodies directed to prevent open dumping of garbage.
- Directs sprinkling of water on roads and planning of traffic to reduce congestion in order to prevent road dust. To be taken up by Delhi police.
- Bans use of diesel generators in Delhi NCR until further orders.
- State governments should form a high level committee to deal with the crisis.
- Pollution Control Boards of Delhi and States of UP, Punjab and Haryana to put a halt on polluting industries working against norms.