The Supreme Court on Monday said that the hue and cry over farmers stubble burning was without factual basis, after the Central Government submitted that the the stubble burning contributed to less than 10 percent of the air pollution in Delhi.
The contribution of stubble-burning - or burning of farm waste -- to Delhi's air pollution is 4 to 10 percent, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court, adding that industry and road dust played a big role.
Justice DY Chandrachud said, "Now cat is out of the bag. Farmers' stubble burning is contributing only 4%. It's insignificant,". "Are you agreeing in principle that stubble burning is not the major cause," Justice Surya Kant asked the Centre, also questioning whether the "hue and cry" was without scientific and legal basis.
The central government tells the apex court that stubble burning at present is not the main cause of pollution in Delhi and northern states as it contributes only 10% of the pollution. At least 74 per cent pollution caused due to industries, dust and vehicles in the city, the Centre said. The apex Court had on Saturday corrected the Centre and Delhi government when it said stubble burning is the main cause of noxious air.
Central government's affidavit cites a scientific study that says only 4 percent in PM 2.5 in Delhi is because of agricultural burning in winters and 7 percent in summers. PM 2.5 describes suspended particles that are less than 2.5 micrometres.
The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Delhi government saying it is passing the buck to Municipal Commissioner and warned it of auditing the revenue it's earning and spending on popularity slogans.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant while pursuing Delhi government's affidavit also said that affidavit is all about bashing farmers and how the entire cause is stubble burning. It took exception to the Delhi government passing the buck to MCD and said, "This kind of lame excuse will force us to hold an audit of the revenue you are earning and spending on popularity slogans."
The Supreme Court concluded that the major culprits of air pollution are transport, industries, and vehicular traffic, apart from stubble burning in some areas, news agency ANI has reported.
Supreme Court has asked the Centre and the state government to respond by tomorrow evening over which industries can be stopped, what vehicles can be prevented from plying, and which power plants can be stopped. It also asked them to suggest ways to provide alternative power.
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