Have You Examined Economic Loss Caused By Pollution: SC Asks Govt
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre whether it has looked into the aspect of the economic loss due to health hazards caused by severe air pollution in the Delhi-national capital region (NCR).
The top court raised the question while referring to an affidavit filed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) which said it had constituted a high-level task force to look into the issue of stubble burning and options to discourage the burning of crop residues.
"Air pollution also causes lots of health hazards. Large number of people was admitted to hospitals, particularly children. So, there is a huge economic loss," a Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.
"Has the Union of India looked into it? Have you looked into the aspect of economic implication and economic loss to the state," the Bench asked Additional-Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni.
The Bench also said no medical professionals were involved in discussions of the task force about the impact of air pollution on health.
"In our opinion, it would be appropriate if the high-level task force also take assistance of medical professional .... and also discuss the issue of health impact of air pollution," the court said.
The Bench has now posting the matter for hearing on January 15.
Last month, a petition was filed in the apex court, raising the issue of severe air pollution in the Delhi-NCR, including stubble burning in neighbouring states such as Haryana and Punjab. The plea had claimed that stubble burning had led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas.
With inputs from Housing News