It is now a fact that one of the major reasons for polluted air in Delhi is stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The NGT has taken a serious note of the problem and banned residual burning in these states and even warned that those flouting its orders would be fined.
Now Delhi High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the problem. The case came up for hearing on Tuesday (September 19). The counsels for Rajasthan and Punjab informed the Tribunal that they had been permitted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to install sensors to keep track of crop burning. The amicus curiae dealing with the matter informed the court that the sensors were functional.
The counsel for MoEF stated that NGT was already dealing with the issue and had passed directions, asking the states to follow them strictly.
The high court asked all the state counsels to meet the amicus curiae on Wednesday (September 20) and make a list of the “problem areas” that the green court has dealt with and study its direction carefully. It also asked MoEF to submit a status report on the parameters followed by Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the issue and permissions received.
The matter will again be heard on September 22.
—India Legal Bureau