The Supreme Court on Monday suspends the one-man committee to oversee steps to tackle stubble burning as the Centre said it would create a permanent body through legislation to deal with an annual air pollution problem in Delhi and its surrounding areas.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was representing the government, told the court that the new legislation will be brought within three or four days and asked the court to suspend the Lokur Committee.

The apex court had on October 16 appointed retired judge Justice Madan B Lokur to monitor stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said, “This is something that government should have acted on”.

“This is not a matter for PIL (Public Interest Litigation)… The only issue is people are choking because of pollution and it is something which must be curbed,” Chief Justice Bobde added.

“This is being done to set up a permanent body not only for stubble burning, but also for pollution in Delhi and NCR region,” said top sources in the Environment Ministry. This, sources said, will replace the EPCA — Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority — led by Bhure Lal.