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No room is safe from air pollution, says angry Supreme Court

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New Delhi, Nov 4, 2019-

Describing air pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas as a “very serious situation”, the Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on the state governments, saying they have not been “showing responsibility”.

The top court also summoned an environment expert from IIT and one from the Environment Ministry to be present before it within 30 minutes.

“State governments are busy in electioneering and not showing responsibility in connection with increasing air pollution in their states and neighbouring states….Delhi is choking every year,” the apex court bench, headed by Justice Arum Mishra, said.

Questioning the Centre and Delhi government about their strategy to cut down air pollution, the court said, “We need an expert in the court room. This is a very serious situation.”

An angry Justice Mishra observed, “No room is safe from air pollution. In fact, even the bedrooms are not safe.”

The court also asked for a remedy to counter stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. “You are asking people to die? Is this what the administration in Punjab and Haryana want?… Crop burning is a serious issue, and now, we need a remedy to stop it.”

The court also emphasized long-term planning to counter the menace of air pollution, as every year Delhi chokes due to severe air pollution.

The court said, “People have been advised not to visit Delhi. What is this happening?”

The court expressed its anguish that state machinery has failed to respond to this emergency. “Centre and Delhi should act together and not blame each other”, added the court.

The hearing will continue.

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