Supreme Court’s strictness

Pollution has reached serious levels in the national capital Delhi. Despite all the promises and claims of solution, every year in this season Delhi and surrounding areas are forced to face the havoc of poisonous air. A division bench of the Supreme Court has directed the governments of neighboring states – Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan – to immediately ban stubble burning. The court also took the Delhi government to task and remarked that the odd-even scheme for plying of vehicles at the time of heavy pollution is just a show. It has become a common practice to make mutual accusations and do politics among different parts of the government or among the states regarding any problem in the country.

The same is happening with Delhi also. The Supreme Court has reacted sharply and said that there cannot be a political fight all the time. Every year a round of rhetoric starts between the governments of Delhi and neighboring states regarding stubble burning. Many efforts have been made to stop farmers from burning stubble. There is a system to compensate them, machines have been installed, there are provisions for financial penalty, but stubble burning has not been stopped. State governments put forward some figures to defend themselves. The Supreme Court has clearly said that all this should be stopped immediately and the court should be informed about what steps were taken. The responsibility of this work has been given to the police station in-charges and it will be monitored by the Chief Secretaries of the states. One of the main reasons for Delhi pollution is the large number of vehicles.

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The court has advised the state government to allow only taxis registered here to operate in Delhi. Air pollution is not only adversely affecting the health of the people of Delhi and surrounding areas, the court has also underlined the lowering of groundwater level in Punjab due to paddy cultivation. Besides, suggestions have also been made to increase the cultivation of coarse grains and give support prices to other crops. Those are the festive days when air pollution is at its peak in the National Capital Region. Then bursting firecrackers also increases pollution. Another division bench of the Supreme Court has banned the bursting of firecrackers containing banned chemicals in the entire country including Delhi. It is expected that the administration will ensure its compliance and common citizens will also understand their responsibilities.

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