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CJI: Bureaucracy should talk to scientists, farmers for air pollution solution

IndiaCJI: Bureaucracy should talk to scientists, farmers for air pollution solution

The Supreme Court said that bureaucrats should talk to scientists & farmers to find a solution for the crisis arising due to pollution.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned the manner in which the state and central bureaucrats work to deal with the current crisis emanating due to pollution and said that they should go to the fields and discuss the issue with farmers and others on how to deal with the situation.

A three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana commented, “We are using common sense to discuss the issues. What is the central and state bureaucracy doing? Why can’t they go to the fields, talk to farmers and scientists and devise a permanent solution to prevent stubble burning?”

The Supreme Court also stated that the Center should prepare a scientific model based on the last five years’ data to determine the average air pollution levels in different seasons every year and take steps prior to the anticipated days of ‘severe air pollution’ days to prevent worsening of ambient air quality.

It also remarked that thousands of crores of rupees collected as cess for the welfare of construction workers are lying with states and asked Delhi, NCR states to pay subsistence allowances to construction workers for the days when all construction work was banned due to severe air pollution days.

The Supreme Court made it plain that it would be vigilantly watching the progress of the pollution case and would continue to follow the situation around the year to find out what anticipated steps are being taken by the Center, the Delhi Government and the NCR states to prevent the air from being polluted.

The Supreme Court today set the date for further hearing on November 29, Monday. “There has been little progress so far and the pollution has been down for a certain level, but not fully,” the CJI said and added that more measures ought to be taken for reducing pollution.

With respect to the stoppage of construction work, the Supreme Court wanted to know from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that how much of labor fund is available?

The CJI asked Mehta concerning construction workers and laborers and stated that if the work of construction is discontinued, the center should help these construction workers by extending some relief from the labor fund. “You (SG Mehta) have to take immediate measures and have to deal with the situation”, the CJI said.

At least 30.7% of deaths in India can be credited to air pollution from fossil fuels–that means about 2.5 million people die every year after breathing toxic air, a silent killer, stealthily taking more lives as the pollution problem is still not resolved.

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