Supreme Court's Big Move On Stubble Burning, Declines Centre's Request

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court Friday appointed retired Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B Lokur as a one-man committee to take steps for preventing stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh which is a source of pollution in Delhi-national capital region.

The national capital has seen a spike in air pollution after stubble burning incidents from these three states, that border Delhi.

“We are only concerned about the citizens of Delhi NCR being able to breathe in fresh clean air,” the court said.

The court directed the court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and chief secretaries of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to assist the Lokur panel to enable it in physical surveillance of fields where stubble is burnt. “The concerned state governments will provide secretarial, security and financial facilities to this committee. The committee will submit its report to the Supreme Court in 15 days,” the court said.

The next hearing on the case has been scheduled on October 26.

The share of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM2.5 concentration was 6 per cent on Thursday, according to a central government agency.

It was only around one per cent on Wednesday and around 3 per cent on Tuesday, Monday and Sunday, according to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR.

PM2.5 refers to fine particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter which can penetrate deep into the lungs, impairing their function, and even the bloodstream.

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