Air pollution : SC asks Punjab govt to stop stubble burning

New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Punjab government to take effective steps immediately to stop stubble burning and strongly observed that a serious look is required into the issue of rising level of Delhi-NCR air pollution.

A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, observed that there can’t be a political battle all the time.

“We want it (stubble burning) to be stopped. We don’t know how you do it, it’s your job. There can’t be a political battle all the time. But it must be stopped. Something has to be done immediately,” the Apex court asked Punjab government.

The Top court said Punjab government is seeing a scenario where due to paddy crop water table declined drastically with wells going beyond redemption.

“You are promoting millets on one hand and then letting paddy ruin groundwater…,” Supreme Court told the Centre.

The Court said a serious look is required whether this kind of paddy should be grown in the time period in which it is grown. About 15 years ago, this problem did not arise because such cropping did not take place.

The SC said this crop has destroyed the water table of Punjab. Weather around Delhi affects it.

It observed that the schemes like odd-even for vehicles to tackle pollution issue are mere optics and posted the air pollution matter for further hearing on Friday.

During the course of the hearing, even Justice Kaul, went on to add that while travelling through Punjab over the weekend, he saw widespread fires on both sides of the road.

The Apex court asked Chief Secretaries of the States, including Punjab and other affected states, to have a meeting either physically or by Zoom on the pollution issue.

It said local SHO should be responsible for implementing the Court’s direction on stubble burning under the supervision of DGPs and the Chief Secretary.

The Top Court noted that a smog tower installed as per earlier order is not working, and directed the government to ensure it is repaired.

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