Delhi Pollution: Supreme Court Orders Three States To Financially Help Farmers
A farmer burns paddy stubble at a farm on the outskirts of Amritsar. (Source: PTI)

Delhi Pollution: Supreme Court Orders Three States To Financially Help Farmers

Bookmark

Lashing out at the authorities for failing to curb severe air pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said it is a question of life and death of crores of people but it is “very unfortunate” that they are not bothered about letting them die.

“Can you permit people to die like this due to pollution? Can you permit the country to go back by 100 years,” observed a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra while directing the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to provide support of Rs 100/ per quintal within seven days to small and marginal farmers who have not burned the stubble—a major source of air pollution.

“We have to make government responsible for this,” the bench said. “Why can’t government machinery stop stubble burning?”

Coming down heavily on the state governments, the top court said that if they don't bother about people, they have no right to be in power.

“You (states) have forgotten the concept of welfare government. They are not bothered about poor people, this is very unfortunate,” said the bench, also comprising Justice Deepak Gupta.

Civil Defence volunteer wearing a mask displays a placard asking people to obey the odd-even rule, in New Delhi (Source: PTI)
Civil Defence volunteer wearing a mask displays a placard asking people to obey the odd-even rule, in New Delhi (Source: PTI)

Also read: Delhi Pollution: Supreme Court Orders Construction Ban, Strict Action Against Crop Stubble Burning

“You just want to sit in your ivory towers and rule. You are not bothered and are letting the people die,” the bench said.

It also questioned as to why the state governments cannot collect and purchase stubble from farmers.

“We expect more from democratic government of the country to deal with issue of stubble burning and curb pollution,” the bench said, adding that “it is a question of life and death of crores of people. We have to make govt responsible for this.”

The bench also directed the Centre, the three states and Delhi to prepare a comprehensive scheme within three months to take care of environmental issues.

Protest against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in relation to the soaring pollution levels in Delhi (Source: PTI)
Protest against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in relation to the soaring pollution levels in Delhi (Source: PTI)

Observing that “agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy and it's bounden duty of the state to look after the interest of farmers,” the bench said it is absolutely necessary that the farmers are provided necessary machines to prevent stubble burning.

“It is a shocking state of affairs that there are unpaved routes and pits in the national capital of the country,” the bench observed during the hearing.

The apex court on Monday had termed the situation as shocking summoned Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Also read: PMO Holds Second Review Meeting With States On Long-Term Solution For Air Pollution

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.