Listing steps taken by air high quality management panel, SC tells Centre


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 14

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to give details of the steps taken by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in the National Capital Region and adjoining areas to deal with the problem of air pollution.

Headed by former Delhi Chief Secretary MM Kutty, the commission started functioning last month. It has jurisdiction over the NCR, including areas in Haryana, Punjab, UP and Rajasthan.

According to an ordinance issued by the Centre, the commission supersedes all other authorities set up through judicial orders or otherwise on air quality management. It also replaces the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) constituted by the Supreme Court more than two decades ago.

As PILs on air pollution were taken up for hearing, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Centre, sought two days from a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, saying the government was in the process of preparing a comprehensive affidavit for filing.

“You file your affidavit,” the Bench said, adding it should have details of steps taken till now by the commission. It posted the matter for hearing on December 17.

During the hearing, senior counsel Vikas Singh alleged that the commission had not done anything. “The committee has 14 members but they have not done anything. They should file some affidavit,” Singh submitted on behalf of petitioner Aditya Dubey, who highlighted the pollution caused by stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and western UP.

The Bench turned down Singh’s plea for allowing mentioning of urgent matters via video-conferencing. “We don’t have so many links (of video-conferencing),” the CJI told Singh.

Tackling farm fires

  • Responding to PILs, SC asks Centre to give details of steps taken till now by Commission for Air Quality Management
  • Petitioner highlights pollution caused by stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and western UP
  • Next hearing on December 17



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