Expressing grave concern over the hazardous air quality in the national capital, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that farmers should stop the stubble burning forthwith in northern States of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh saying it was one of the major contributors to air pollution.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia made the local State House Officer, under the overall supervision of the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, responsible for preventing crop burning.
It further directed that a meeting be held on Wednesday between the States to ensure that crop burning is stopped forthwith.
Farmers burn straw stubble which remains in fields after harvest of grains like wheat and paddy, to prepare the fields for the next set of crops.
The bench while expressing concern about the government not being able to stop stubble burning acknowledged that while stubble burning may not be the sole cause of air pollution, it remains a substantial contributor.
The Punjab government told the apex court that stubble burning has reduced 40 per cent since last year’s stop. The bench said stubble burning should be stopped and there can’t be a political battle all the time.
“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,” Justice Kaul told the Advocate General of Punjab.