Deteriorating air quality is concerning the Indian urban population very badly.
Needless to say, the situation in cities like New Delhi is worst and literally at the toxic levels!
Considering this worst scenario, the Indian Supreme Court questioned all the state governments if there weren’t liable for public health issues caused by air pollution.
In this regard, the apex court asked all the respective governments to come up with proper reasoning within the next six weeks on this point of offering ‘compensation’.
The court said the state governments are bound to ensure basic civic amenities, clean air and drinking water to citizens.
It also issued notices to the States to report on Air Quality Index (AQI), and related efforts to manage air quality and garbage disposal.
The court also asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to submit data on their measures to tackle pollution, sewage and garbage disposal in rivers.
Time has come to require the governments to explain why they should not be asked to compensate persons who are affected by bad air quality. Why liability should not be saddled for tortious act of government machinery for their failure in discharging their duties,” the SC bench comprised of Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta asked.
Stating that the Centre and States are ‘blaming each other’ on this issue, SC urged them to come together to work for public welfare.
Referring to various Articles of the Constitution, the apex court said it has been cautioning states from time to time and the situation has worsened over years. It said authorities have failed in ensuring good air quality and drinking water.
“Why are people being forced to live in gas chambers? It is better to kill them all in one go, get explosives in 15 bags at one go. Why should people suffer all this?” SC said in anguish at the current scenario across the country.
“Right of human being is being endangered. Lifespan is being shortened,” SC said urging states to act on an immediate basis on tackling pollution and ensuring safety drinking water.
Besides state machinery, the court also found fault with farmers’ deeds in causing this situation.
Air Quality Bulletin For Delhi NCR: 25-11-2019
The court directed the Center to constitute a high-level committee within three days to present the modalities required to tackle the air pollution, and also file a report within the next three weeks period.