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You have failed: SC pulls up Centre, States on stubble burning

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New Delhi, Nov 06: The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Punjab government for its inability to control stubble burning by farmers.

Supreme Court

"It is a question of life and death for crores of people. They suffer from diseases such as asthma and cancer because of all this... We outright reject the suggestion of allowing stubble burning on certain conditions," the court said.

Slamming the government of failing to provide a roadmap and leaving it all to officers, the court said, "Time has come to punish officers".

"You just want to sit in your ivory towers and rule. You are not bothered and are letting the people die," the top court said on the pollution crisis, reports PTI.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta took serious note of crop burning in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh and said "why can't government machinery stop stubble burning? Stubble burning is not the solution. We expect more from the democratic government of the country to deal with the issue of stubble burning and curb pollution," reports PTI.

Air quality improves marginally in Delhi; schools reopen

A two-judge bench has summoned chief secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to explain their failure to curb stubble burning that is blamed for the toxic smog hanging over the region.

Justice Mishra asked the chief secretaries to make a plan for purchasing this stubble, make sure no burning takes place and to make the entire administration responsible.

"Can you permit people to die like this due to pollution? Can you permit the country to go back by 100 years. It is a question of life and death of crores of people. We have to make government responsible for this," the court said on the toxic air pollution levels in Delhi NCR. " Nobody will be spared if found violating rules," the apex court said.

Air pollution levels in Delhi touched emergency levels on Wednesday with the Delhi government shutting down schools, ordering staggered timing in offices and initiating the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme.

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