Air Quality in India has deteriorated so much, that the supreme court has declared that state governments will have to pay their citizens compensation if they fail to provide them clean air and water.

The judges, who have been vocal in their condemnation of state governments who have repeatedly failed to address the issue, said people had the constitutional right to live free of pollution.

The supreme court bench, made up of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta, gave the governments six weeks to explain why they should not be held accountable “for their failure in discharging their duties”.

Judge Arun Mishra said that India had “…become a laughing stock,” adding that if  the government cannot provide clean air and water , then ‘…what is the point of all this development? What is the point of being a world power?”

The Air Quality index in the capital Delhi regularly exceeds levels considered safe by the World health Organisation (WHO).