NEW DELHI :
“It is a shocking state of affairs....there cannot be large scale exodus of people from Delhi. Delhi cannot be evacuated”, the SC said
The apex court made it clear that it would penalise top officials starting from the Chief Secretary to the local administration officer, if found guilty in not taking steps to stop air pollution
AT A marathon hearing on air pollution, the Supreme Court on Monday passed a slew of directions, as it expressed its displeasure at the failure of the Centre and State machinery, to be followed by the Chief Secretaries to the lowest officer in the administration, to comply with its directions. “You can postpone the Assembly, people cannot be left to die”, said a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra seeking the presence of Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The court scheduled the next hearing on November 6. The apex court made it clear that it would penalise top officials starting from the Chief Secretary to the local administration officer, if found guilty in not taking steps to stop air pollution. The court also roped in the SHO of the local police station to ensure steps are taken to stop stubble burning. “It is a shocking state of affairs....there cannot be large scale exodus of people from Delhi. Delhi cannot be evacuated”, said the court.
The court has also imposed strict fines on construction and waste burning activity in Delhi NCR to contain pollution originating from local level. Describing air pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas as a “very serious situation”, the Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on the state governments, saying they have not been “showing responsibility”.
The top court also summoned an environment expert from IIT and one from the Environment Ministry to be present before it within 30 minutes. “State governments are busy in electioneering and not showing responsibility in connection with increasing air pollution in their States and neighbouring States....Delhi is choking every year,” the apex court bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, said. Questioning the Centre and Delhi Government about their strategy to cut down air pollution, the court said, “We need an expert in the court room. This is a very serious situation.” An angry Justice Mishra observed, “No room is safe from air pollution. In fact, even the bedrooms are not safe.” The court also emphasised long-term planning to counter the menace of air pollution, as every year Delhi chokes due to severe air pollution. The court said, “People have been advised not to visit Delhi. What is this happening?”The court expressed its anguish that State machinery has failed to respond to this emergency. “Centre and Delhi should act together and not blame each other”, added the court.
Give ‘logic’ behind odd-even scheme: SC to Delhi Government
NEW DELHI :
WITH the national capital facing severe air pollution, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the Delhi Government about the “logic” behind the odd-even scheme and ordered it produce data to prove that the road rationing plan reduces pollution. The Bench of Justices headed by Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta took up the issue of air pollution in the capital and other parts of north India. The apex court ruled that persons found violating the ban on construction and demolition in Delhi-NCR region will be fined Rs 1 lakh and with Rs 5,000 for burning garbage. It also directed municipal bodies to prevent open dumping of garbage. “Cars create less pollution. What are you (Delhi) getting from this odd-even? What is the logic behind the odd-even scheme? Banning diesel vehicles we can understand, but what is the point of odd-even scheme,” Justice Arun Mishra said. The bench has sought the data or records from the Delhi Government by Friday to prove that the odd-even scheme has reduced pollution in Delhi, even as autos/taxis and two-wheelers continue to ply on the roads. The next date of hearing is November 6. The odd-even scheme, which entails cars with even last digits to run on even days and with odd last digits to run on odd days of month, will be in force from November 4 until November 15.