A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was told by advocate Aparajita Singh, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in air pollution matter, that several studies have been conducted in India on health and economic impacts of environmental pollution but they were not available in the public domain.
"Is some kind of study being done on cost of health due to pollution?," the bench asked, adding, "perhaps, we are spending much more in treating people than what was being spent in trying to keep the pollution in check".
To this, the amicus and one of the advocates said several Indian study reports were available which indicated hazards of pollution on the health of people.
Referring to one of the reports, the lawyer said as per study conducted by an institute in West Bengal, air pollution may led to cancer also.
"We direct the CPCB to publish these reports since 2010 onwards on the website of CPCB so that public can be made aware of the worst consequences of air pollution and other environmental pollution," the bench said.
The court directed CPCB to publish these reports on its website within two weeks.
Justice Gupta observed when he was recently in Shimla, he had accessed an app, which indicates air quality index, and found it reflected that it was "very unhealthy" to go outside.
"The app was sponsored by some air purifier company. There was clear blue sky in Shimla but the app said it was very unhealthy to go outside. Look into it also," he said.
During the hearing, the amicus told the bench that a meeting of stakeholders was held on December 5 about the issue of emission standards for power plants in India and it was agreed that they would comply with it as per the revised schedule of December 31, 2022.
The bench asked the Centre to file an affidavit by March 1, next year on this issue and posted the matter for hearing in March.