The Supreme Court today rebuked the government yet again over the installation of smog tower in Delhi, a day after the top court had warned IIT Bombay of contempt proceedings over the project. The institution, which had earlier said it wanted to back out, today said it will continue to be a part of the project.
"We will not tolerate this laxity. When we asked for the project to be completed within three months then why was the order not complied?" Justice Arun Mishra asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, the government's lawyer, as he told him to file a response by Monday.
The timeline of the completion of the project, however, is still not clear, Tushar Mehta said.
In December last year the top court gave the centre and the Delhi government three months to set up a smog tower at Delhi's Anand Vihar intersection. At that time the centre filed an affidavit saying it would take at least six months to set a tower up under a pilot project.
The government informed the court today that that all those linked to the project including IIT-Bombay, the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) and others were contacted after yesterday's hearing. The Memorandum of Understanding or MoU is ready and it "will be signed digitally", it said.
Yesterday, in a sternly-worded rebuke, the court had told IIT Bombay that it would "punish" the institution for backing out of the project six months after a site visit by the institution and Tata Projects Ltd officials and a draft MoU was drawn up by the CPCB (central pollution control board) in January.
IIT Bombay had written an email on July 14 in which the institution said it would not be able to accept conditions laid down in the MoU, such as taking responsibility of overall coordination and verification of works to be carried out by Tata Power Ltd.
"I can't tolerate this nonsense. We will punish IIT Bombay and other authorities for delaying court orders. How can they back out after six months? How can they back out from a government project? I will draw up contempt case against them," Justice Arun Mishra had said on Wednesday.
Justice Mishra then tore into a helpless Solicitor General, first demanding that he confer with and provide a reply from IIT Bombay - first within 30 minutes and then within 15, before finally relenting and allowing the matter to be listed for Thursday.