Air pollution: SC seeks responses from government on compliance

The Supreme Court Monday directed the Centre to respond to issues related to construction activities including the Central Vista project under its domain besides asking Delhi and NCR states to file their replies to show compliance of directions issued by the commission on air quality management to curb pollution.

The Commission for Air Quality Management in the NCR and Adjoining Areas said it has been holding meetings and passing directions to deal with air pollution well in advance and urged the apex court to seek a report from states on issues including the status of industries running on fuels, other than PNG, implementation of direction to ban diesel generating (DG) sets, impounding of old petrol/diesel vehicles and on steps taken by states to control dust.

Observing that “intentions (of the Commission for Air Quality) are good and directions are given but the result is zero”, a special bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said that forthwith compliance of directions of the panel by the states was needed and punitive measures like imposing a fine of Rs 1000 or ordering one day jail to violators are not going to work.

The bench, also comprising justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant was told by senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioner, that construction activities for big projects like the Central Vista are going on in full swing and such a project cannot be “more important than the lives of citizens”.

Taking note of the submissions, the bench, in its order, said, “Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General is directed to file a response to the said submission made by Vikas Singh… and get instructions on his behalf on the next date of hearing.”

ET Energy World
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