New Delhi: National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday slammed the Centre and the Delhi government of Aam Aadmi Party on waking up late on the deadly air pollution issue, moving quickly to engage all stakeholders in the fight against smog.
While the Delhi Culture Minister Kapil Mishra appealed to citizens to come up with suggestions to tackle Delhi’s pollution, health minister Satyendra Jain hinted a return of the odd-even policy to curb vehicular pollution.
Union Minister for Environment Anil Dave also separately held a meeting to discuss the pollution in the national capital.
With the visibility on roads showing some improvement on the first day of the week after the dust and smog choked the capital with worst levels in 17 years, the weather and pollution experts hoped that the situation will show some improvement on Tuesday. Although the ambient air quality measurement showed no significant change in the levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10.
The National Green Tribunal on Monday slammed Delhi government, Centre, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan on the rising levels of pollution. The tribunal asked all the governments,” What have you done till now to curb pollution? “NGT asked, “Why haven’t you started sprinkling water on roads to reduce dust?What happened to the proposal of sprinkling water using helicopters?”
Coming down heavily on the local municipal bodies in Delhi, the NGT asked,” Isn’t it your responsibility to curb pollution? What is Nagar Nigam doing, they were asked to use machines for cleaning purposes earlier?”
Meanwhile, environmentalist Sunita Narayan of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) also petitioned Supreme Court on Delhi pollution. The apex court will hear her petition on Tuesday.
A bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice L. Nageswara Rao agreed to hear the matter on Tuesday after Sunita Narayan of Centre for Science and Environment told the court that there was no effective implementation of the directions issued by the apex court last year.
Sunita Narain told the court that it had, in the past, issued several directions but their effective implementation and enforcement was lacking.
She sought from the court monitoring of the implementation of its directions.
The apex court was also given the report by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority for NCR on the state of air pollution in the national capital territory.
Narain also told the court that Uttar Pradesh and Haryana were diverting the heavy vehicles and other traffic so that they don’t pass through the national capital but because of shortage of manpower the diversion of traffic was not upto the desired levels.
The schools have been shut in the capital and all construction work has also been put on hold in view of the dangerous pollution levels.