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‘People Are Laughing At India’: SC Slams Govt Failure on Pollution

“Why are people being forced to live in gas chambers? It is better to kill them all in one go,” said Justice Mishra.

Updated
Environment
2 min read
A jogger wears a pollution mask early morning amidst light smog in New Delhi. Image used for representational purpose. 
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The Supreme Court on Monday, 25 November, questioned the central government and the states of Haryana and Punjab over their failure to control stubble burning, which has led to a spike in pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.

Justice Arun Mishra, addressing Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, said people were “laughing at our country” as we “can’t even control” stubble burning, pulling up the central and state governments for playing the blame game.

“People are laughing at our country that we can’t even control stubble burning. Blame game is not serving the people of Delhi. You people will play the blame game, not taking it (pollution) seriously.”
Justice Arun Mishra, as per ANI
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‘Why Force People to Live in Gas Chamber, Better to Kill Them in One Go’

He also asked why people are “being forced to live in gas chambers” when it is better to “kill them all in one go.”

“Why are people being forced to live in gas chambers? It is better to kill them all in one go. Get explosives in 15 bags at one go. Why should people suffer all this? A blame game is going on in Delhi and I am literally shocked.”
Justice Arun Mishra

The SC has directed the Centre and Delhi government “to keep their differences aside”, sit together and finalise a plan within 10 days for setting up air purifying towers and anti-smog guns.

‘Why Should NCR Suffer’

Demanding answers from the chief secretaries of both Haryana and Punjab, the apex court asked them why the National Capital Region (NCR) should suffer due to their negligence.

“Because you (Punjab) are not able to implement measures does not mean people in NCR should die and suffer from cancer,” observed Justice Arun Mishra, coming down heavily on the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in the state, as per ANI.

He added that while Haryana had done a “good job” earlier, it is “not doing anything” now.

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‘How Do People Breathe?’ – SC’s Earlier Remark

Earlier, on 15 November, the apex court remarked – “How do people breathe?” – while expressing concern over the rising pollution level in the NCR, summoning the chief secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to apprise it about the steps taken to deal with the issue.

“Why cannot we have a clean Delhi? Ever-green and ever-clean?” a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta had said.

The top court observed that Odd-Even Vehicle Scheme in Delhi has not been effective in reducing pollution levels and the air quality index (AQI) has deteriorated further.

“Delhi is suffering badly. The AQI inside the room is above 600 today. Outside the room, it is worse. How do people breathe?” the Bench asked.

It questioned Delhi government on the exemptions given, including to two- and three- wheelers in the Odd-Even Scheme and said it is a “half-baked solution”.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

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