Mumbai: Amid rising air pollution levels in the national capital, the Supreme Court on Friday appointed Justice Madan B. Lokur, a retired apex court judge, as a one-man committee to curb the burning feces in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.
During his tenure as a judge of the apex court, Justice Lokur dealt with the pollution case which involved the aspect of sewage burning.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde also directed the Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and Chief Secretaries of the three states to assist Justice Lokur.
“We are only concerned about the citizens of Delhi-NCR being able to breathe fresh clean air”, the bench also told Justices A. S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian.
The national capital has seen a spike in air pollution after stubble burning incidents from these three states that border Delhi; the share of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM2.5 concentration was six percent on Thursday, according to a central government agency. The Punjab government said that they are not the cause of pollution in Delhi.
On Thursday, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had said that stubble burning only contributes four percent to Delhi-NCR pollution with the rest caused by local factors, drawing a strong reaction from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, “Air (in NCR) was clean before that. It is the same story every year. There’s no massive jump in any local source of pollution in last few days to cause this spike,” said Mr. Kejriwal.
It also directed the concerned states to provide adequate security, secretarial infrastructure, and transport to the Lokur panel. It asked the board to submit its burning report to the apex court in a fortnight.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by one Aditya Dubey, who has expressed concern over pollution caused by stub burning. The next hearing on the case has been scheduled for 26 October.