SC To Pollution Board - “Citizens Gasping For Breath. You Waiting For Them To Die"

SC To Pollution Board - “Citizens Gasping For Breath. You Waiting For Them To Die"


“Just three control rooms? is that adequate ? Is there a nerve centre ? Tell us. Don’t you need more control rooms? It never occurred to you that Delhi is dying, that Delhi needs more such stations. You want to wait till people start dying? People are gasping for breath and you are sitting there in your office without being conscious of the fact that there is a need for setting up more stations” SC TO CPCB CHAIRMAN S P PARIHAR


The Supreme Court today asked the Central Pollution Control Board in cooperation with other authorities to set up sufficient number of control rooms in the capital to monitor the air and take time action.

“We do not want a situation when authorities remain totally clueless while the air is getting increasingly poisoned”, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said asking all authorities to come out with emergency measures, time frame and identify the agency to implement the steps.

A meeting has been ordered on November 19 to be chaired by the Centre’s representative. CPCB Chairman S P Parihar told the bench there were three air control rooms- at Dwarka, Dilshad Garden and Shadipur Depot

The CJI then asked just three control rooms? is that adequate ? Is there a nerve centre ? Tell us. Don’t you need more control rooms? It never occurred to you that Delhi is dying, that Delhi needs more such stations. You want to wait till people start dying? People are gasping for breath and you are sitting there in your office without being conscious of the fact that there is a need for setting up more stations”

“Tell us who is obstructing the setting up of more control rooms. Capital of the country cannot be left to be poisoned”, the CJI told Parihar.

The bench asked the Centre to hold a meeting with all the stake holders on November 19 to discuss the issue and take urgent measures.

On November 8 the court had directed the Centre to respond within 48 hours and give details about its policy or a "disaster management plan" to deal with the prevailing situation. The court was not happy with the plan submitted on Thursday.

The court has been repeatedly asking the Centre and Kejriwal government to keep aside their differences and devise a "common minimum programme" at least for taking steps to deal with the pollution menace.

"We want to know whether you (Centre) have any disaster management plan. Do you have a policy which deals with graded responses to the situation and provides what action would be taken at which stage? What is the protocol? Now the time has come where we need to have this," the bench had said.

When the bench sought to know from Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar about the policy to deal with the rising pollution levels and asked whether the Centre monitored the situation, the SG said said unregulated "commercialisation" and "industrialisation" of Delhi was one of the reasons for the present situation.

This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.