On October 16, 2020, the Supreme Court (SC) bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde and comprising of Justices Ajjikuttira Somaiah Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian has directed to formulate a one-man committee under former SC judge Madan Bhimarao Lokur to monitor and prevent stubble-burning by farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (UP) this winter, which worsens the air quality in Delhi- National Capital Region (NCR).
- The bench also directed the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) and Chief Secretaries of Delhi and the three states to assist the Justice Lokur panel in devising additional means and methods for preventing the burning of stubble.
- In this regard, there will be deployment of National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme and Bharat Scouts and Guides for assisting in the monitoring process of stubble burning in the agricultural fields.
–This constitution of panel is on the lines petition filed by Aditya Dubey who has raised concern over rising pollution level in Delhi-NCR. He was represented by senior advocate Vikas Singh.
–The committee submits its fortnightly report to SC at the initial stages or when it is required.
–Notably, Madan Bhimarao Lokur during his tenure as an apex court judge had dealt with pollution matters which included the aspect of stubble burning.
What is Stubble Burning?
It is the act of setting fire to crop residue to remove them from the field to sow the next crop. This is mainly done in late September and October each year by the farmers mainly from above mentioned states.
- It is the cheapest and fastest way to get rid of the stubble, as farmers have a very short interval for planting a next winter crop (Rabi crop), and if they get late, they might face considerable losses.
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ii.On September 18, 2020, a high-level task force led by Dr Pramod Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister reviewed the action taken by agencies and firm up plans for the coming harvesting and winter season during a meeting with Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and UP.
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