The Supreme Court on Wednesday showed some dissatisfaction towards the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay when they backed out of a project allocated to them by the Supreme Court. The apex court had passed the order for smog tower project while hearing the matter related to air pollution in Delhi.
This order was passed on 13th January this year which stated that a project of installation of smog tower at Anad Vihar in east Delhi should be completed within 3 months of time. Accordingly funds were allocated for this project and memorandum of understanding was in process, though IIT Bombay was unable to finalize this MOU.
Concerns regarding the same were raised in an affidavit filed by Ministry of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). It was even mentioned in the affidavit that, “it may not be prudent to use tax payers’ money of nearly Rs 20 crore to test the prototype project of a foreign university when no one is willing to certify the design and engineering drawings and take guarantee for its performance”.
On 29th July 2020 Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed about the back out of IIT Bombay and lack of execution of MOU on the same. The bench led by Justice Arun Mishra , Justice Vineet Saran and Justice MR Shah said "This is dilly-dallying tactics and violation of the order passed by this court has already been committed at least by IIT", they even mentioned that appropriate actions must be taken against IIT Bombay for such contempt of order.
The court ordered the appointed member from IIT Bombay to be present on which Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urged the court to give him a day time. The court agreed and posted the matter for hearing on 30th July 2020.
During the meeting conducted through video conferencing Solicitor General Tushar Mehta apprised the bench that the government is in talks with IIT Delhi and NEERI (National Environment Engineering Research Institute) to continue with this project. The bench also insisted to take this issue seriously as various concerns have been raised regarding the rising pollution level in Delhi.
The smog tower would suck the polluted air which then will be purified through multiple layers and then re-circulated in the atmosphere. The issue regarding air pollution has been at a triggering rate these days, and these steps by government might lead to a cleaner air.