Check farm fires, ensure next winter is better, Supreme Court tells states : The Tribune India

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Check farm fires, ensure next winter is better, Supreme Court tells states

Seeks progress reports from Punjab in two months

Check farm fires, ensure next winter is better, Supreme Court tells states


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13

Noting that the issue of stubble burning needed continuous monitoring, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to submit progress reports in two months on steps to curb air pollution.

“Let us at least make an endeavour for the next winter to be little better,” said a Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul while hearing a PIL on air pollution in the Delhi-NCR that virtually turns into a gas chamber during October-November due to stubble burning.

Several meetings of the committee chaired by the Union Cabinet Secretary were held and it has prepared an action plan for states, including Punjab and Haryana, to deal with the issue, the Bench noted. Attorney General R Venkataramani submitted a note on the Centre’s behalf on the steps to be taken to check farm fires and also placed the minutes of meetings of the committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary. “There is something to be done by Punjab, something to be done by Haryana, something to be done by Delhi and something to be done by different ministries,” the Bench said.

“Possibly, this matter needs continuous monitoring. What happens is when the problem arises, we suddenly take it up…. The court must monitor it for some time,” said Justice Kaul, who is due to retire on December 25.

The Punjab Government said it had recovered environmental compensation from those responsible for crop residue burning. Its counsel had earlier told the Bench that environmental compensation totalling Rs 2 crore had been imposed on the offenders.

“The recovered amount is still only about 53 per cent (of the penalty imposed). Recoveries must be speeded up,” the Bench said. Regarding claims that farm fire incidents came down between September 15 and November 30, the Bench said, “The point is, still farm fires are significant and this must stop.”

Judicial monitoring

Possibly, this matter needs continuous monitoring. What happens is when the problem arises, we suddenly take it up…. The court must monitor it for some time. Let us at least make an endeavour for the next winter to be little better. — Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul

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#Agriculture #Environment #Farm Fires #Pollution #Stubble Burning #Supreme Court #Uttar Pradesh


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