Bengaluru: The Supreme Court came down hard on the Punjab chief secretary for his failure in controlling the menace of stubble burning. The court was hearing the case related to air pollution in the national capital, owing to which health complications have taken place. 

The court observed, “It is a question of life and death for crores of people. They suffer from diseases such as asthma and cancer because of all this… We outright reject the suggestion of allowing stubble burning on certain conditions.”

The court was certainly not done yet. 

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“What's the point of having all these developments if even stubble burning can't be stopped,” it added. 

When the Punjab counsel replied that it was not possible to keep a tab on 2 lakh farmers who resort to stubble burning, the court redirected its anger towards the chief secretary. 
It said, “Time has come to punish chief secretaries now. Punjab chief secretary must be hauled up. Why should only poor farmers be punished? We will punish people at the top.”.

The court in no uncertain words, questioned the use of the chief secretary post if he could not help people. 

It observed, “Why are you the chief secretary if you can't protect people’s life? Let the central government rule the entire country if you say you can't do anything and everything has to be done by the central government. 

On the issue or punishing farmers as a measure to dissuade them from stubble burning, the SC had these to say: 

“Punishing farmers isn't a solution. States will instead have law and order problems if you do this. Make them aware, sensitise them and give them incentives,” the court said. 

The top court also pulled up UP, Haryana and Delhi governments for not doing enough to tackle pollution. 

The pollution levels in New Delhi are abysmally bad. The chief reason attributed to this is the stubble burning.