People sitting in 5-star hotels in Delhi accusing farmers for air pollution: SC

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Supreme Court | Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday took exception to farmers being blamed for stubble burning amidst the air pollution crisis in the NCR, saying "people sitting in five star facilities in Delhi keep on accusing farmers" without taking note of their plight.

The apex court also pointed to 'hi-fi cars" and "gas guzzlers" plying on Delhi roads, saying all affidavits referred to transportation as a pollution source.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said nobody is concerned whether farmers would be able to procure machines for stubble management.

"What we have seen and are observing is that irrespective of the percentage, the plight of the farmer, in what circumstances he is compelled to do, what are the reasons he has not been able to follow these scientific reports, nobody is concerned about it.

"People sitting in five star and seven facilities in Delhi keep on accusing the farmers that this much is attributable to them. Have you seen their earnings per land holding? How will they afford these machines? If there is any actual scientific based alternative please go and convince them," said the bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant.

Senior advocate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, said that stubble burning was one of the contributors to the air pollution which needs to be addressed and referred to the Centre's figures on the issue.

He told the bench about Pusa bio-decomposer solution that is expected to help decompose paddy stubble.

The apex court said this fact cannot be ignored that how many firecrackers have been burnt despite ban being in place.

"Every year when Delhi is choked this court is compelled to take the initiative. Please tell us the Centre and the state governments what steps they have taken," the bench said.

Singhvi submitted that the bench should convene the court in October because it doesn't have enough time for firefighting in this month.

"What happens is there's fire, by the time directions are issued the fire is out and we are back to being hunky dory," Singhvi said.

The bench said it has been acknowledged by both the Centre and the Delhi government that sources like vehicular emission are a major part of pollution.

"All the affidavits are acknowledging that transportation is a pollution source. We know it all gas guzzlers, tractors, hi-fi cars are plying in Delhi on every route. You're saying you'll encourage people to stop it. Now how will you? and who will encourage and who will accept.? the bench said.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, who sought directions to provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free.


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