- Delhi Government to take assistance from Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority
- Complete ban on stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana as well as the adjacent areas in Western Uttar Pradesh
- Delhi Government questioned on effectiveness of implementation of Odd-Even Scheme
In the midst of rising pollution levels in Delhi NCR and other parts of India, the Supreme Court issued certain directions in an attempt to tackle the pollution requiring N95 and N99 pollutions masks:
- Supreme Court imposed a complete ban stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana as well as the adjacent areas in Western Uttar Pradesh. It has put the responsibility on the local administration as well as the Chief Secretaries of these States to ensure that not even a single instance of stubble burning takes place. The Court, in fact, went ahead to hold that the entire police machinery and local administration will be held liable in case any instance of crop burning is reported hereon forward.
- The Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh are directed to be present in Supreme Court on Wednesday, 6 November, 2019, to explain to the Court as to why the authorities failed in curbing instances of crop burning. The Supreme Court observed that stubble burning is a tort and the States are liable under tort law. Therefore, a question is posed by the Court as to why these States should not be made to pay compensation on the principle of "polluter pays".
- All construction and demolition activities in Delhi NCR are directed to be stopped completely, and the responsibility to ensure the same is put on local administration which will be fined to the extent of Rs. 1 lakh in case of violation.
- The Delhi is directed to take assistance from the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority to deal with the issue of waste management and garbage burning which is also a contributing factor in the pollution crisis. The EPCA, the Court said, is to consider whether restrictions need to be imposed on the entry of diesel vehicles in Delhi NCR. To curtail pollution by diesel emissions, the Court has also said that no diesel generators must be used in the region and has directed States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to ensure there are no power cuts.
- Coal-based industries are directed to stop all activity for the time being till further orders and the Delhi local administration is directed to take steps such as water sprinkling to ensure dust settlement.
- A committee is to be formed by State governments of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan to discuss the crisis and steps that can be taken to tackle the air pollution crisis. The report of this meeting is to be submitted to the Court on Wednesday, 6 November 2019.
The Delhi Government was also questioned by the Supreme Court as to explain the logic behind allowing 2-wheelers and 3-wheelers wherein vehicles like Auto Rickshaws and Taxis will be allowed to operate, whose demand would automatically rise due to the stopping of operation of private cars, and they shall continue to contribute to the already existing pollution leading to a nullifying effect of the Odd-Even Scheme.