The Supreme Court on Thursday in a stern message made it clear that there has been "huge unjustified delay" in the construction of smog towers in the national capital and the project should be positively completed within 10 months, failing which contempt orders can be passed.
A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari said: "Let the project be positively completed within 10 months."
The top court during the hearing earlier this week noted undertakings have been furnished by the Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, as well as the Principal Secretary of the Department of Environment and Forests, Delhi government.
The concerned authorities have informed the top court that the work relating to smog towers will be complete within 10 months and the requisite money has been transferred to the Tata Consultancy.
"It is stated in the affidavit filed on behalf of the MoEF that a sum of Rs 52 lakh has also been transferred to Clean air- CARE LLC, which is the licensee of University of Minnesota. Similar is the stand of Govt. of NCT of Delhi. Undertakings are taken on record," the bench observed.
The bench said that if there is any violation on any ground, then it will be treated as contempt of the order passed by the top court.
The bench noted there is already huge unjustified delay in making the compliance of the order. "However, since steps are being taken and undertakings have been furnished, we have not proceeded for violation of the order passed by this Court, only on the basis of the action taken and undertakings furnished to complete the project," said the bench.
On August 4, the apex court had asked the Centre to "start at the earliest" the work for installation of smog towers in the national capital. The Centre had informed the top court that the process will take 10 months.