'You Have No Right To Be In Power', SC Slams State Govts For Failing To Ban Stubble Burning
The Supreme Court criticised the state government of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi on November 6 for not being able to stop stubble burning the main reason behind ‘severe’ pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.
The court said state governments “have no right to be in power” if they do not bother about people. “You just want to sit in your ivory towers and rule,” said Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta.
The apex court directed the Centre to prepare a comprehensive plan, in consultation with states to make farmers wean away from stubble burning. It directed the Delhi government to submit an action plan to deal with issues of garbage dumping and burning, pockmarked roads and the state of traffic congestion in the capital city.
The court said, “Why is a government not buying stubble? Only poor farmers should be penalised while the government is not made accountable? It cannot be like this.”
The court also told the state governments that if the government does not have money, it will provide funds to buy stubble. The court rapped the chief secretary of Punjab after he pointed out that the state does not have money to incentivise farmers not to burn stubble.
The states now have a deadline of seven days to purchase the stubble to curb the stubble burning. Summoning the chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, the court asked, “Can you permit people to die like this due to pollution?”
It asked whether they feel ashamed about flights being diverted and citizens not being safe at their homes. It told the state governments that they have forgotten the concept of welfare government and are not bothered about poor people. It said it is very “unfortunate”. The Air Quality Index in Delhi is still in the “poor category”.