Better not to be in Delhi.. it is like a gas chamber: Supreme Court
It is better not to be in Delhi, the Supreme Court said on Friday, expressing despair over the lack of implementation of measures to curb air pollution and traffic congestion in the capital which, it added, has become like a “gas chamber”.
“In the morning and evening, there is so much pollution and traffic congestion,” Justice Arun Mishra said, hearing a matter related to air pollution in the National Capital Region.
“It is better not to be in Delhi. I do not wish to settle in Delhi. It is difficult to live in Delhi,” he said.
A bench of justices Mishra and Deepak Gupta said these problems affect the right to life.
Justice Mishra cited an example to explain the problem of traffic, saying he was stuck in traffic on Friday morning and could have missed the swearing-in of two judges at the apex court.
Advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as an amicus curiae, told the bench that Delhi has become a “gas chamber” due to pollution. And Justice Gupta agreed, “Yes, it is like gas chamber.”
Singh told the court that authorities always say they take measures to curb pollution but the reality is different.
“We would like to understand,” the bench said.
“What are the things which are required to be done in actuality? What remains to be done as per the comprehensive action plan? What is required to keep in check environment pollution in Delhi? What more can be done?” it said, adding, “implementation is definitely lacking”.
It said that many polluting vehicles enter Delhi at night and asked authorities how they were allowing these to enter the national capital.
The court asked the Delhi police what action they have taken to remove unclaimed vehicles — that are no longer required in legal cases — from police stations. It also asked the Delhi government why they have not appointed district ‘nazir’ (record keeper of record room).
The Delhi government’s counsel told it they are yet to receive a reply from Delhi Development Authority for allotment of land to build malkhana (record room).
“If you can dispose of the junk vehicles, you will get several acres of land,” the bench said.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on February 1.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a fresh case against Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad in connection with a land-for-job scam and on Friday conducted searches at 17 locations associated with the former Bihar chief ministedr and his daughter Misa Bharti. Daughter Misa Bharti later left for New Delhi. Lalu's youngest son and leader of opposition Tejashwi Yadav is currently in London.
Professor Nilofar Khan, who has 30 years of teaching experience, has been appointed as the first woman vice-chancellor of the University of Kashmir, officials said on Thursday. The order of appointment was issued by Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha in his capacity of being the chancellor of the university. She will be replacing Professor Talat Ahmad, who completed his second tenure as the V-C of the university which began in August 2018.
Given the spike in terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and threats issued by various terror outfits, the upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra starting June 30 to the cave shrine at 13,000ft in south Kashmir is going to be a litmus test for the government. One of the most revered Hindu pilgrimages in India, the yatra is resuming after two years.
Jammu divisional commissioner Ramesh Kumar along with additional director general of police, Jammu, Mukesh Singh, handed over an appointment letter and ex gratia to the family of Rahul Bhat, a migrant Kashmiri Pandit government employee who was gunned down in the Valley recently. A financial assistance of ₹5 lakh was also handed over to the family. Jammu deputy commissioner Avny Lavasa had also accompanied Kumar.
Following the conviction of banned JKLF chief Yasin Malik by a Delhi court in a terror funding case on Thursday, wife of late Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna, Shalini Khanna, said she was confident of getting justice for Yasin Malik. “Bad deeds lead to bad outcomes,” said the 70-year-old, while demanding Malik be sent to the gallows. Squadron leader Khanna was shot 27 times with an AK assault rifle.