NEW DELHI: With the air quality plunging to "very poor" category in Delhi, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to file a status report on the recommendations of a high-level task force on the prevention of stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.
The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi touched the 301 marks by 10 pm on Sunday and during night, the air quality had plunged to the "very poor" category in all the parts of the national capital.
The issue cropped up before a bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta when senior advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the top court as an amicus curiae in the pollution matter, said that MoEF should be asked to file a status report on this.
Singh told the bench that on January 29 last year, the apex court has passed an order on the issue after the Centre had said that report of a sub-committee of the high-level task force on the prevention of stubble burning in these three states was accepted.
She said that as long time has gone by since the top court's last year order, MoEF should be asked to file a status report about the implementation of the directions as well as the report of the committee.
The bench asked the MoEF, which is the nodal ministry for implementation of the report of the sub-committee on stubble burning, to file a status report within two weeks.
On November 23, 2017, a high-level task force for the management of air pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR) comprising experts and senior officials of various departments was constituted by the Cabinet Secretariat.
The committee, in its report, has suggested a slew of measures including the use of machines to combat the menace of pollution due to stubble burning.
The issue of crop burning had come up before the apex court which is hearing a matter related to pollution in Delhi-NCR.