“2-Day Lockdown?”: Supreme Court Asks Centre For Delhi Air Emergency Plan

New Delhi: 

With Delhi and nearby cities blanketed in smog for over a week now, the Supreme Court today told the central government to come up with an emergency plan on Monday as Chief Justice NV Ramana said, “You see how bad the situation is….even in our houses, we are wearing masks.”

Asking the central government for an emergency plan for improving the air quality in the city, the Chief Justice said: “You tell us how do you plan to take emergency measures? Two-day lockdown? What is your emergency plan on lowering AQI (Air Quality Index) levels?”.

Assuring that steps are being taken to stop stubble burning, the central government, putting the onus on Punjab, told the court, “We are taking steps to stop stubble burning. But in (the) last five-six days the kind of pollution, we have seen is because of (the) stubble burning in Punjab. The state government needs to buckle up… stubble burning (is) happening in farms.”

To this, Chief Justice Ramana replied, “Why are you projecting like pollution is because of farmers? It is only certain percentage of pollution. What about the rest? What are you doing to control the pollution in Delhi? We have nothing to do with which government ….state or centre.You tell us what is your proper plan…not about 2-3 days

However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the centre, later clarified, “We are not saying that it’s only farmers. We never said that.”

CommentsIf farmers won’t get an incentive, a change is unlikely, Justice DY Chandrachud pointed out, adding, “Enforcement can’t happen just like that.”