The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the state governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi to file affidavits detailing measures against air pollution, especially the steps taken to curb crop or stubble burning.
The Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia passed the order after perusing the report submitted by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), in compliance with the Apex Court order dated October 10, 2023.
The CAQM noted in its report that one of the reasons for air pollution in the National Capital Region was stubble burning.
While calling the report comprehensive, the Bench said the problem of air quality still persisted.
It said taking in view the suggestion made by Amicus Curiae in the case, Senior Advocate Aparajita Singh, the top court of the country directed the concerned states to file an affidavit regarding the steps they have taken to control air pollution within a week.
It further directed the Commission to make a table regarding the relevant period when the problem started this year till one day before the next date.
The Central government today submitted that the CAQM report dealt with eight sources of pollution and also mentioned the steps taken so far in that regard. It also included the tables comparing the position of the past two-three years with today’s, added the Union of India.
The Apex Court then asked the Union government to state ground reality regarding the air quality impact, noting that all these steps were only on paper.
It added that no matter what steps had been taken, the air quality had not improved.
The Bench noted that a couple of decades back, the onset of Winters was considered as the best time in Delhi. However, the situation had worsened over the years and its impact over the next generation was huge, noted the Apex Court.
(Case title: MC Mehta vs Union of India and Ors)