- Centre to propose new legislation which will combat Air Pollution
- Centre told Supreme Court that it will create a permanent body via the legislation
- The legislation will tackle air pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas
On Monday, the Central Government informed the Supreme Court of India that it will soon propose a new legislation which will create a permanent body aiming at combating the yearly issue of air pollution in the National Capital and adjoining areas due to the stubble burning in neighbouring states.
The Supreme Court of India, taking note of the submission, altered its order which was passed on the 16th of October and suspended the one-man committee of the former justice Madan Lokur. The top court had earlier appointed justice Lokur to monitor the measures taken by the states in preventing the stubble burning in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the National Capital Region.
Representing the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, explained the court that the Central government has taken a holistic view of the issue of air pollution which is being caused by the stubble burning and has also taken several impromptu steps to mitigate the problem being faced by the residents.
Mehta sought a stay on the order passed by the Supreme Court dated 16th October as he informed the top court about what the Centre is considering and is going to, soo, propose a legislation, most probably within next few days to tackle the problem.
Solicitor General Mehta added that a draft of the proposed law on tackling the air pollution issue shall be placed before the court within the next four days.
Opposing the pleas from the Centre, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, representing petitioner, said that the legislation will be able to come out only by next year and the air pollution in Delhi and NCR needs immediate attention.
To this Mehta responded, “This government acts fast and the problem must be curbed on war footing.”
Welcoming the submission made by the Solicitor General Mehta, Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.A. Bobde remarked, “Welcome step, this is something that government should have acted on. This is not a matter for PIL”.
He added, “The only issue is that people are choking because of pollution and it is something which must be curbed.”
Senior Advocate Harish Salve, the amicus curiae (friend of the court) came in support of the proposal from the Central Government.
“The order was passed by the bench comprising justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian while hearing a PIL filed by two young environmental activities seeking directions to ensure the implementation of the complete ban on stubble burning,” according to a report from a leading news agency.
In the past few days, the air quality of the national capital has worsened as the farmers in neighbouring states have started burning crop stubble to clear their fields ahead of the winter sowing season. As many as 2,873 incidents of stubble burning were reported between 21st September and 12th of October, that is an increase of almost 281% from the same period last year of 755.