New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it does not want to punish farmers for stubble burning, which is considered as the main cause of air pollution in Delhi and neighbouring areas, asking the Centre and state governments to persuade them. A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana also expressed its dissatisfaction with the content of debates on television, saying television debates, especially on legal issues, are causing more pollution.

"You want to use some issue, make us observe and then make it controversial and then only blame game will remain. Debates in TV is creating more pollution than everyone else," Bar and Bench quoted Chief Justice Ramana as saying.

The remarks were made by the court after the Delhi government submitted its arguments over the Centre's report on the share of stubble burning in air pollution. During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that the government did not mislead the court on the exact contribution of stubble burning.

On Mehta's arguments, the apex court made it clear that it has not been misled. "We were not misled at all. You said 10 per cent but it was pointed out in the affidavit that it was 30 to 40 per cent (in the annexure)," Justice Ramana said, "these kinds of criticisms keep happening. Our conscience is clear and we work for public interest".

Centre lists slew of measures to reduce pollution

The Centre on Wednesday proposed a slew of measures in the Supreme Court including a ban on entry of all trucks in the national capital except vehicles carrying essential goods, shutting of schools and 50 per cent attendance in offices of GNCTD to reduce air pollution in Delhi-NCR. Taking note of the Centre's submissions, the Supreme Court directed Delhi and NCR states to comply with these decisions which were taken at Tuesday's meeting to curb air pollution.

The Centre, meanwhile, also said that a meeting of chief secretaries of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi along with others was held on Tuesday. "So rather than implementing work from home we have issued an advisory for pooling and sharing of vehicles," it said.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, who sought directions to provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free. The matter will now be heard on November 24.

(With inputs from agencies)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma