Apex Court Pulls Up Punjab, Haryana Over Stubble Burning
The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Punjab government for not taking any coercive steps to tackle stubble burning which led to the depletion of air quality in the national capital and asked it to ensure that this does not happen in the future.
A bench headed by Justice Mishra was hearing the issue of air pollution in New Delhi and other parts of north India. For this purpose, the court had summoned the chief secretary of Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana today.
The court took cognizance of the matter after stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana and other meteorological factors pushed Delhi’s air quality level down to the ‘very poor’ category.
Slamming the Punjab government, Justice Mishra said, “Why was the government not ready in advance? It seems no steps are taken throughout the year.”
Attorney General KK Venugopal, representing the government, told the court that “200 thousand farmers cannot be controlled”. He suggested that Punjab and Haryana be divided into zones and each zone be allowed to burn stubble on specific days allotted to them.
Justice Mishra also said that the government had “failed miserably” to do their duty.
“Please ensure that there is no stubble burning take place. If you cannot do it then leave it to the court.”
“It seems that there is no coordination among the officers and the state government to deal with this situation. You cannot allow people to die. How many people will suffer from asthma, cancer and other diseases?” Justice Mishra said.
The court also slammed the Haryana government and asked it about the action it will take in four districts of the state where the stubble is burnt.
The court said that nobody would be spared if they are found violating the rules and regulations.