Order of the Supreme Court regarding regarding pollution in Delhi and NCR region compounded by stubble burning, 04/11/2019

  • 04/11/2019

Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of M. C. Mehta Vs Union of India & Others dated 04/11/2019 regarding pollution in Delhi and NCR region especially compounded by stubble burning.

Apex Court comes down heavily on the authorities saying "in spite of various directions issued by High Court, other authorities including this Court the State Governments, Government of NCT of Delhi and the corporations of Delhi and nearby States are not performing their duties as enjoined upon them."

The SC also chastised the farmers saying that they cannot escape their responsibility by saying that they don't have sufficient time to use stubble for the purpose of manure, since they have less time between two crops, cutting and sowing of next crop. By burning the stubble in their fields, the farmers are putting the "life of sizeable population in jeopardy."

Some of the directions passed by SC are the following:

  • Chief Secretaries of the State Governments, District Collectors, Tehsildars, Director General, IG/SP and other police officers of the area of concerned police station to ensure that "not even a single incident takes place of stubble burning henceforth."
  • Gram Pradhan and Panchayat have also been asked to ensure that no such stubble burning takes place. The Sarpanch of every Panchayat and SHO of the concerned area have to list the people who have burnt the stubble in their fields.
  • The state governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have asked to explain why they should not be asked to pay the compensation for on their failure in preventing stubble burning.
  • The government of NCT of Delhi have been asked to file data on three wheelers and taxis plying more on road during odd/even scheme.
  • EPCA has been asked to consider the suggestion of barring diesel vehicles entering Delhi.
  • Construction, demolition, garbage burning and related actities be stopped forthwith in Delhi and NCR region.
  • Water sprinklers/ dust suppressors be used to contain road dust.
  • Roads where traffic congestion is more, a traffic plan be prepared to ensure that there is no extra burden on a particular road.
  • State Level High Level Committee should meet and take decision on stubble burning and steps taken be informed to SC by November 6, 2019 by the concerned Chief Secretaries of the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab and Government of NCT of Delhi.
  • A road map be prepared by the state government, NCT of Delhi as well as by the Government of India within three weeks to prevent similar situations in the future and an action taken report submited within four weeks.