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Supreme Court lays down guidelines and directions to combat air pollution in Delhi

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court on Monday passed a number of directions to combat the acute problem of air pollution in Delhi NCR and adjoining areas in North India.

The Special Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta passed these directions to curb the menace of air pollution in Northern India, particularly in Delhi. The national capital battles with worrisome air quality when Winter sets in as a result of various factors. One of the primary reasons identified is crop or stubble burning in adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana.

Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta
Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta

After having pulled up the authorities of not only Punjab and Haryana but also Uttar Pradesh and Delhi NCR for failing to take measures to curb pollution levels, the Supreme Court on Monday passed a slew of directions. These directions touch upon various aspects ranging from stubble burning to smog.

The Apex Court had earlier directed for the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi NCR to form a high level committee to come up with an action plan to curb pollution. The report of this committee of the decisions taken is required to be placed before the Supreme Court along with the details of the decisions taken thus far.

As regards steps for prevention of stubble burning, a comprehensive plan is directed to be made, with the Court stressing on the need for a final decision to be taken on incentives to be given to farmers for in-situ farming, rather than burning of stubble.

The Court has also asked the Central government along with the State governments of Punjab, Haryana, and UP to come up with a scheme regarding provision of machinery to small and marginal farmers to ensure in-situ stubble management is done. The scheme pertains to providing the equipment and machines at a nominal charge or free of cost.

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