Air pollution: Supreme Court seeks affidavits from Delhi, Rajasthan, UP, Haryana, Punjab

An anti-smog machine sprays water droplets on the road to reduce the rising air pollution in the national capital, at the ITO Traffic signal in New Delhi on 26 October 2023. ANI


The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the governments of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan to submit affidavits detailing the measures they have implemented to mitigate air pollution.

A bench of Justice S.K. Kaul along with Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and P.K. Mishra emphasised the deterioration of air quality in Delhi, comparing it to a time when the city had better air quality, which has now been significantly compromised.

The court directed these state governments to file the affidavits within a week. “The states concerned should file an affidavit setting forth what steps they have taken to redeem the position. We call upon the states of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to file an affidavit within a week,” the bench stated. The matter has been scheduled for further hearing on November 7, 2023. Additionally, the top court directed the CAQM to provide a tabulated report outlining the conditions when the air quality issue began and the current state of affairs, including parameters such as the Air Quality Index (AQI) and the number of incidents related to farm fires.

The bench highlighted that crop burning stands as a major contributor to air pollution in Delhi. The court had previously requested a report from the CAQM concerning measures aimed at controlling air pollution in and around Delhi.