A PIL has been filed before the SC seeking a direction upon the State Governments of Punjab and Haryana to ensure a complete ban on stubble burnings in their respective states. As the stubble season has arrived the petitioners highlighted that stubble burning contributes to almost 40-50% of air pollution in Delhi.
They therefore seek to ensure that the Air Quality Index level in Delhi-NCR does nit critical levels during the stubble burning season this year, especially in view of the prevailing Covid-19 Pandemic.
The Right to Breathe clean air is an integral part of the fundamental Right to Life enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the said fundamental right is being violated by the failure of the Union Government and the State Governments to keep the air pollution levels in Delhi-NCR below hazardous levels every year during the period between September to January.
They have also sought for issuance of necessary directions to the Respondent-States to ensure availability of appropriate stubble removing machines, free of cost, to the small and marginal farmers of the concerned states.
Taking serious note of the air pollution which has engulfed the Delhi-NCR area, the SC passed a slew of directions in November last year. The State Governments were directed to ensure that no further crop stubble burning takes place. Further, it imposed a ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi and NCR.
The court highlighted that punishing the farmers for stubble burning was not the ultimate solution, but to provide them with the basic facilities and amenities.