Order of the Supreme Court of India regarding the deteriorating air and water quality especially in Delhi NCR, 25/11/2019

  • 25/11/2019

Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of M. C. Mehta Vs Union of India & Others dated 25/11/2019 regarding rising air pollution in Delhi NCR especially due to stubble burning and vehicular pollution.

Affidavit by A. N. S. Nadkarni, Assistant Solicitor General informed the SC that the fire count as on November 7, 2019 has increased in the States of Punjab and Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on some of the days. The Apex Court said that the court orders has not been complied with and that "not only the State machinery is responsible, but the farmers are also responsible." 

The SC directed notice to be issued all the states to give information on the air quality index in the various towns and how the cities are discharging their duties with respect to lifting of the garbage, waste. Further, the Pollution Control Boards of the various States as well as the Central Pollution Control Board have been asked to submit data and material with respect to various rivers in the states and the steps taken to curb pollution in rivers and management of industrial effluents, sewage, garbage, waste and air pollution, including water management.
 
Notice was also issued to states where stubble burning is taking place to submit report on the steps taken to curb the problem. The states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and the Government of NCT of Delhi have been asked to respond on the issue of air pollution and "why the concerned Government and its concerned machinery, from top to bottom, should not be asked to compensate the citizens of Delhi and adjoining areas for various diseases which are being caused and sufferings and troubles which are being faced." Show cause notice was also issued to the above mentioned state governments and to the Chief Secretaries to submit reply within six weeks. The Chief Secretaries have to be personally present before the court on January 17, 2020. 
 
The SC ordered that notice be issued to the counsel appearing on behalf of the farmers on "why the orders of this Court have been violated and why the farmers should not be asked to pay the compensation which may be determined by this Court and why the burden should not be fastened upon them also."
 
The SC also wanted reports to be submitted on smog towers and anti smog guns to control air pollution.