The Uttar Pradesh government got an interesting reply from Supreme Court on Friday after it pointed out that closure of industries may affect sugarcane and milk sectors in the state. Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, reasoned, "Uttar Pradesh is downwind. Air is mostly coming from Pakistan. Whatever is happening is not necessarily in UP," reported news agency ANI.
To this, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana quipped, "So you want to ban industries in Pakistan!," ANI reported.
SC had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to approach the commission on air quality management with its grievance against the direction that the industries, which were not running on cleaner fuel in NCR, will be allowed to operate for eight hours a day only.
Kumar said sugarcane crushing goes on continuously in this season and the direction will harm farmers.
The apex court, on Thursday, said nothing was happening on the ground to control the deteriorating air quality in Delhi-NCR and directed the Centre and Delhi government to come out with suggestions to control the pollution within 24 hours.
It was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, who sought directions to provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free.
Meanwhile, the top court also directed the Centre and the states in NCR to implement the orders of the panel on air quality management to curb air pollution while ruing that some sections of the media have ''portrayed'' it as a ''villain'' which wants to close down schools.
A special bench headed by Ramana also took note of measures taken by the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas on Thursday and asked the Centre, Delhi, and states in the National Capital Region (NCR) to follow the directions.
In an affidavit, the commission told the bench, also comprising justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant, that a five-member enforcement task force has been set up to contain air pollution in Delhi and NCR. Forty such squads would monitor the implementation of measures suggested by it to deal with pollution, the panel said.
Seventeen such flying squads have been constituted to ensure the implementation of various measures mandated by the court and the panel. The number would be raised to 40 within 24 hours, the affidavit said, Ban on entry of trucks, excluding those carrying essential goods and those running on cleaner fuel, will continue, it said.
Taking a note of the measures, the bench ordered, ''We have perused affidavit by Centre and the Delhi government. We have taken into consideration the directions proposed. We direct the Centre and the government of National Capital Territory to implement the orders of December 2 and we keep the matter pending and will hear it on next Friday''.
With agency inputs
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