The Centre on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that it will ensure strict measures to tackle air pollution in north India, more than a week after the apex court had directed the Centre to take steps with the help of experts. Speaking on the ways to curb pollution, the Centre said that it is exploring technology including those methods used by Japan. The apex court asked the Centre to review the technology and submit a report on it by December 3.
The top court while hearing the suo moto writ petition said that serious, permanent and comprehensive measures should be taken by the government and other stakeholders. The Solicitor General said that the government will take proper measures in this regard with the help of technology and other means. A highly empowered committee will study the technical utility and prepare the report.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi asked the central government to explore Hydrogen based fuel technology to find solutions to combat air pollution.
On November 4, a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta had directed the Central government along with the Delhi Government to take steps to curtail air pollution. "It is not the way we can live. The Centre should do, states should do, it can`t go on. This is too much. No room is safe to live in this city, even in homes. We are losing precious years of our lives due to this," it said. Describing the situation as `grim`, the apex court had also asked the Centre and Delhi government to inform them what they intend to do to reduce the pollution. "Situation is grim, what you intend to do as Centre and as the Delhi government to reduce this pollution," Supreme Court had asked.
The apex court had also summoned chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to appear before it on stubble burning and pollution issue. "Delhi is choking every year and we are not able to do anything. Every year, this is happening and this continues for 10-15 days, this does not happen in civilized countries. Right to life is most important. Things are happening every year under our nose. People are being advised to not come to Delhi, or leave Delhi. State governments are responsible," the bench had said.
The court had said it will monitor the matter related to air pollution. "People dying in their state and neighbouring states. Will not tolerate this. We are making a mockery of everything. This is a gross violation of the fundamental right to life. We will supervise this matter now. Crop stubble burning must stop immediately and all states must do everything to stop it," the Supreme Court had said.
During winter season each year, most of northern India suffers from a spike in toxicity in the air due to the change in weather patterns and crop residue burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Not only that, but a dip in temperature along with low wind speed also tends to trap air pollutants closer to the ground.