The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to list for hearing on November 10 a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking issuance of fresh guidelines on stubble burning to curb the recurring issue of pollution in Delhi and adjoining National Capital Region (NCR), news agency PTI reported.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi took note of the submissions made by lawyer Shashank Shekhar Jha, who has filed the PIL. Jha contended that the air pollution has worsened due to stubble burning in the areas close to Delhi.
In the plea, Jha argued that stubble burning has increased in Punjab, and in such a situation even “normal people can’t walk”.
The plea sought direction to summon chief secretaries of four states – Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and said that they take the responsibility to ensure that stubble burning was not taking place, reported news agency ANI.
The plea further asked to issue guidelines to every state regarding the issue of stubble burning.
“Public at large is forced to inhale polluted air and the oxygen filled with smog. Despite the clear orders of this Court to stop stubble burning and construction causing air pollution, there is rampant pollution in the National Capital Territory and other places making it difficult for people to survive,” the plea read, as quoted by ANI.
Further, it said that the present situation is related to the right to life of people at large.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a press conference on Friday that the deteriorating air quality and pollution levels were a problem in the entire north India, and said that the Centre must take steps to address it. The CM was joined by his Punjab counterpart CM Bhagwant Mann.
The city continued to reel under pollution with the air quality recorded in the “severe” category on Friday.