Implement Dec 2 order: SC to Centre and states during pollution hearing

Insight Online News

New Delhi, Dec 3 : The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre and the National Capital Territory of Delhi to implement the top court’s orders passed of December 2 in connection with the Delhi-NCR pollution hearing case.

“We have taken into consideration the directions proposed. We direct the Centre and NCT of Delhi to implement the orders of December 2 and we keep matter pending,” ,” Chief Justice NV Ramana said, as he posted the matter for next hearing on December 10.

“We will hear thre matter next Friday,” said the three-judge bench, also comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre earlier told the apex court that an affidavit has been submitted detailing the steps being taken to curb air pollution.

Mehta said the state and respective pollution boards will work accordingly in their area on the critical issue.

“Two independent members and flying squads will be there. Task force will work accordingly and take action against the violators, respectively,” Mehta said.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the Delhi government, said that from March 2020, for a period of 17 months, the Delhi schools have remained closed, except for a brief opening last month.

“The schools are closed again and it opened in November and that too with the of parents permission,” Singhvi said.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in the Delhi-NCR pollution case filed in its affidavit to the Supreme Court that it has constituted an Enforcement Task Force to monitor compliance with its directions to control air pollution.

The central government will form 40 flying squads out of which 17 will be in next 24 hours, the affidavit said, adding that a five member Enforcement Task Force will tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

The CAQM affidavit followed the apex court’s disappointment on Thursday, over the way the Centre, Delhi and other state governments and authorities concerned had failed to control pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region.

“For Air Quality Management in Delhi-NCR, we have constituted an enforcement task force of five members to monitor compliance with its directions to control air pollution. Seventeen flying squads have also been constituted to act against violators,” said the CAQM affidavit.

“All schools and colleges in NCR shall remain closed till further orders, allowing only online mode of application except for the purpose of conducting examinations and laboratory practicals etc,” added the affidavit.

“The entry of trucks in Delhi shall not be permitted, except for CNG and electric trucks and trucks carrying essential commodities,” it said.

The Commission and the central government has taken immediate steps to further augment implementation of directions by the commission with a view to achieve the desired results for improving the air quality, added the affidavit.

The inspections were to be carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board, the respective, state governments and their State Pollution Control Board/committee.

It is submitted by the CAQM, in its affidavit, that as per the top court’s December 2 order, 17 flying squads are constituted, which will directly report to the ‘Enforcement Task Force’ of the Commission.

The Enforcement Task Force itself will exercise powers of taking punitive and preventive measures against the non compliant/ defaulting persons/entities.

The number of Flying Squads would be increased to 40 in the next 24 hours.

The affidavit said Flying Squads have already started functioning from Thursday itself and have conducted surprise checks at 25 sites, said the affidavit.

As far as industrial pollution is concerned, the commission has further directed that industrial operations and processes in NCR, where gas is not available and the said industrial unit is not running on PNG or cleaner fuels, shall be allowed to operate only up to eight hours a day during weekdays and shall remain closed during Saturday and Sunday, it added.

The operation of thermal power plants within 300 km radius of Delhi will continue to be regulated, whereby, only five out of 11 thermal power plants have been permitted to schedule their operations and rest have been directed to remain inoperative till at least December 15, 2021, the CAQM affidavit said.

Singhvi said it was most unfortunate that during the December 2 hearing there was an aggressive combat, as per a newspaper report.

The CJI, too objected to some section of the media for saying the courts were not interested in the welfare of the children, “it is not that”.

“We are projected as being villains, It is incorrect,” the Supreme Court said, expressing its displeasure over the way a section of media highlighted Thursday’s hearing proceedings, and it said that “the press has a very important role to play”.

Vikas Singh, senior lawyer for the petitioner, Aditya Dubey, said that there is a pattern which is disturbing.

“The measures need to be taken is not being taken by parties,” Singh alleged.

“This is not an adverserial litigation. Something has to come ultimately,” the CJI told Singh, and added that “everyday, we can’t hear the case”.

“All industries using fuel, must be stopped, Immediately,” Singh said, and added “the situation is very very bad”.

The CJI said that we have perused the affidavit filed by the Centre and NCT.

The Supreme Court took a strong view of the fact that some newspaper is projecting court as a “villan, not interested in welfare of children for being in favour of closing of schools during high pollution level”.

The apex court clarified that it was the Delhi govt which on its own had agreed to close down the schools.


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