"You (states) have forgotten the concept of welfare government. They are not bothered about poor people, this is very unfortunate," said the bench, also comprising Justice Deepak Gupta.
"You just want to sit in your ivory towers and rule. You are not bothered and are letting the people die," the bench said.
It also questioned as to why the state governments cannot collect and purchase stubble from farmers.
"We expect more from democratic government of the country to deal with issue of stubble burning and curb pollution," the bench said, adding that "it is a question of life and death of crores of people. We have to make govt responsible for this".
Terming the situation as shocking, the apex court on Monday had summoned Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.