'Get Explosives in 15 Bags and Kill Delhiites in One Go': SC Blasts Punjab, Haryana as Stubble Burning Continues
In a strongly worded order, a bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said the life span of millions of citizens has shortened and people are 'suffocating' due to pollution in Delhi-NCR.
New Delhi: “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,” the Supreme Court said on Monday, pulling up the governments of Haryana and Punjab for increase in stubble burning despite its order prohibiting it.
In a strongly worded order, a bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said the life span of millions of citizens has shortened and people are "suffocating" due to pollution in Delhi-NCR. Calling the Capital a “nark” (hell), the court said: "Can you treat people like this and permit them to die due to pollution? We can't let any government reduce the life span of people.”
The top court asked Punjab to pay compensation for not being able to stop stubble burning. “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? In Delhi blame-game is going on.”
Addressing the Punjab Chief Secretary, the court said: “You should explain why we should not impose fine on you for not being able to control your state. Despite our orders, it happened again. Just because you (Punjab) are not able to implement measures, it does not mean people in NCR should die and suffer from cancer.”
To the Haryana chief secretary, the court said it would impose heavy monetary penalties on all officers, from top to bottom. It also noted that no action was taken since January 2018 when a panel was constituted to look into all these issues.
After going through satellite images which showed stubble burning has, in fact, gone up in Haryana recently, the court said. "Show us why did it happen even after our orders," the SC told the state, asking if it is “a state-sponsored protest against our orders”. “We must compensate people in Delhi-NCR for your faults,” the court added, taking exception to the politicisation of the pollution crisis.
“Even water pollution is a matter of politics. Blame-game goes on while people don't get clean water. It is the end of civilians' right. The world is laughing at us, for you can't even stop stubble burning,” the bench said.
The court also pulled up the Delhi government, asking why it had been unable to clear garbage. “Delhi government isn't taking anything seriously. Delhi has become 'nark' (hell).” Taking suo motu cognisance of the quality of water — a bone of contention between the BJP and the AAP — the court asked Delhi government to be ready with data.
“Life isn't so cheap in India anymore. What was given in the Bhopal Gas tragedy case is nothing compared to what is given to victims in similar cases worldwide. Chief secretaries have no right to be in chair if they can't serve people well."
On Monday, Delhi's air quality was recorded in the 'poor' category though light rains are likely to improve it later in the day. According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), Delhi's air quality index was 218 at 9.10am. The overall air quality index in the city was 254 at 9.45am on Sunday.
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