The Supreme Court on Monday put a halt on all construction and development activities in Delhi-NCR amid severe pollution level and directed that persons found violating the ban on construction and demolition in region will be fined with Rs 1 lakh and with Rs 5,000 for burning garbage.
The court has directed the Centre and Delhi government to work in tandem to deal with garbage issue â€” which is contributing to the pollution â€” on a war footing, and has ordered water sprinkling on roads to contain dust.
The Supreme Court also ordered the Delhi government to produce the data or records by Friday to prove that the odd-even scheme, implemented on Monday, has reduced pollution in the national capital, even as autos and taxis continue to ply the roads.
The court said people are losing precious years of their lives due to pollution, and slammed authorities for their failure to curb pollution in Delhi-NCR.
The court said it will not tolerate this and will fix liability on the state governments.
"Delhi is choking every year and we are not able to do anything. Question is that every year this is happening," the bench said, adding, "It cannot be done in a civilised country".
It also took serious note of crop burning in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh and said it cannot go unabated every year.
"Why there should be unabated crop burning every year? Every year there is hue and cry. States know this but still they are not tackling this issue," the bench said.
Senior advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the apex court as an amicus curiae in the air pollution matter, told the bench that as per the Centre's affidavit, crop burning has gone up by 7 per cent in Punjab and down by 17 per cent in Haryana.
The top court called the pollution in Delhi-NCR as atrocious and said no one is safe even inside homes.
"It is too much. No one is safe even inside their house. It is atrocious," the bench said.
People are being advised not to come to Delhi due to pollution, state governments are responsible for this.
"You are asking people to die. Your states (Punjab and Haryana) are also badly affected. Is this the administration left in Punjab and Haryana? Every year this is happening. We will fasten the liability of states and panchayats also," the bench said.
(With PTI inputs)