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Air Pollution in Delhi: Special Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta assembles
Attorney General KK Venugopal present in the Court, suggest solution to tackle the issue. Venugopal speaks about Stubble burning, suggests Punjab and Haryana may be divided into zones and each zone be allowed to burn stubble on specific days allotted
Justice Mishra: Why just stubble burning be allowed?
Venugopal: Farmers cannot be asked to compromise on their livelihood. If stubble burning is banned, farmers will eb affected.
Justice Mishra: Why is the government not giving any othe solution? Stubble burning is bad. The Attorney in a democratic country cannot give suggestion like this. Why can't centre or State come up with a solution
Justice Mishra: You give subsidies to farmers, give some solution but can people be asked to for like this? Can you give fait accompli like this? Why can't a solution and machinery be provided by the government?
Justice Mishra: We cannot leave it with the farmers. We will make authorities responsible for collection (of stubble). But lives of crores of people is affected by this stubble burning
Venugopal: My solution is workable and practical.
Mishra J: We are rejecting your solution
Venugopal: You cannot control 200 thousand farmers.
SG Tushar Mehta: GOI giving subsidies in Haryana for machines. There are two ways to deal with stubble.
Mehta: The machines that work to convert stubble into in-situ manure are provided bythe government at subsidised rate.
Justice Mishra: Governments need to be hauled up under law of torts. Why government is not buying stubble? Only poor farmer should be penalised while government is not made accountable? It cannot be like this
Justice Mishra: We cannot be protecting these officials anymore
Justice Mishra: Everyone knew that this (stubble burning) would happen this year also, why was the government not ready in advance and why were these machines not provided in advance? What have you done in one year? No steps are taken throughout the year.
Chief secretary, Punjab informs the Court of the steps taken by officials to educate and motivate farmers to adopt other methods instead of stubble burning
CS Punjab tells the Court that over 18000 machines were distributed.
Justice Mishra: why did you wait till September for this distribution? You started late that is why all machines could not be distributed
Justice Mishra: What steps did you take to purchase the stubble?
CS Punjab mentions Centre's responsibility in purchasing of stubble.
Justice Mishra: Again you are passing the buck, why are you Chief Secretary if you cannot do anything? We will suspend you from here only, you won't be able to work even for a single day. What is this
Justice Mishra: why have a state administration if you don't want to do anything. Why can't collection or purchase of stubble be done at panchayat level
Justice Mishra: people are dying, flights are being diverted, are you proud of your achievement? You must have advised AG to speak like this to say that "there is no solution other than stubble burning". You have failed to make a roadmap for this problem.
Justice Mishra: you don't hage any policy for purchasing stubble. Time has come to take action against you people (state government authorities)
Justice Mishra to chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana
1. Make plan of purchasing this stubble 2. Make sure no burning takes place 3. Make your entire administration responsible
Justice Mishra: We have forgotten the concept of welfare State. We are not able to provide them with the modern facilities to deal with this.
Justice Mishra: What will you do in the next seven days regarding purchasing the stubble.
You are also a State government, don't depend on the centre for everything..it is not for the Courts to run the government
CS Punjab: We have an action plan. There have been some reactions from some elements.
Justice Mishra: You cannot penalise farmers without providing them amenities. There will be law and order problem.
Justice Mishra: You are not providing them basic facilities nand then you want to punish the farmers. You cannot sit in your ivory tower and try to rule like this
Justice Mishra: First thing you need to answer is when will you purchase the required machinery
Justice Mishra (to CS Punjab): If you don't have the funds, tell us we will provide for the fund. Don't think about the funds right now
CS Punjab gives the Court an outline of the funds that will be required to incentivise farmers not to burn the stubble.
Justice Mishra: You cannot arrange for the fund?
CS Punjab: We are a highly indebted State
Justice Mishra: You are the administrative head of a State. You should say that you are willing to take action. If you cannot provide the funds, you should vacate the chair. This shows lack of will power
Justice Mishra (To Punjab): You are not bankrupt. You are running a government but don't have money for poor farmers? If you are not diverting funds, don't think Courts are powerless
Court calls up the Chief Secretary of Haryana now
Justice Mishra: We want to know why burning is taking place
CS Haryana: Farmers have the machinery but the procedure cost ₹2000 and burning is free. We are sensitising the farmers
Justice Mishra: That means you have also failed. You want the lecture tobe repeated for you also?
CS Haryana: Meetings of gram sabhas have been held. Sensitising process is taking place.
Justice Mishra: sensitising is happening now? You are worse than Punjab..they sensitised starting January, you are doing it now
Justice Mishra: now time has gone to make them aware. You have to take positive steps to purchase this stubble
Justice Mishra: In the coming seven days, you take all steps to procure the stubble. Mobilise the entire machinery, spend as much money as required but purchase the stubble. Precious time is being lost as regards preparing the field for the next crop
Bench calls up the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh
Justice Mishra: Why must there be stubble burning in western UP and what are you doing about it?
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