The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Punjab government to stop stubble burning and listed the matter for hearing on November 10.
The directions of the apex court came while hearing an issue relating to air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia observed that there can’t be a political battle all the time and that stubble burning needs to be stopped.
“We want it (stubble burning) stopped. We don’t know how you do it, it’s your job. But it must be stopped. Something has to be done immediately,” the apex court told Punjab after the government’s counsel said that farmers are burning the stubble on account of economic reasons.
Reacting to the directions of the apex court to the Punjab government, former deputy chief minister and Congress leader Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said, “Supreme Court should first end pollution of Delhi and Haryana. Earlier Kejriwal used to defame us but now it’s their government in Punjab. It’s GoI’s responsibility. The farmers of Punjab who give grains to the country are being defamed today.”
The apex court said that the Punjab government is seeing a scenario where due to the paddy crop water table declined drastically with wells going beyond redemption.
“You are promoting millets on one hand and then letting paddy ruin groundwater,” the Supreme Court said to Centre.
Supreme Court said that a serious look is required whether this kind of paddy should be grown in the time period in which it is grown, 15 years ago this problem did not arise because such cropping did not take place.
The top court also said that this crop has destroyed the water table of Punjab and that the weather around Delhi affects it.
Reacting to the same, BJP national general secretary Dushyant Gautam said, “Supreme Court’s verdict has made it clear that pollution is increasing in Delhi because of Punjab. AAP made false promises to provide chemicals as a substitute for stubble burning. I welcome the order of the court.”
Meanwhile, talking to ANI about the SC’s directions on pollution, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said, “The Supreme Court has given its observations related to stubble burning, firecrackers, and air pollution in Delhi. Our government will implement the order of the Supreme Court. The problem of pollution is the problem of the whole of North India. I request to all governments that if we implement all the steps to reduce pollution, we will succeed.”
Earlier in the day, Gopal Rai and Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot chaired a meeting on Tuesday to chalk out a plan for implementing the Odd-Even scheme in the national capital at Delhi Secretariat.
The Supreme Court directed the Punjab Government to cease stubble burning immediately. It also sought affidavits from Punjab, Haryana, UP, and Rajasthan.
The SC observed that schemes like odd-even for vehicles to tackle pollution issues are mere optics.
The apex court has posted the air pollution matter for hearing on Friday, November 10. (ANI)