Delhi air pollution: NGT directs UP to keep vigil on illegal brick kilns

New Delhi, Oct 17 : The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Uttar Pradesh authorities to keep a vigil on illegal operation of brick kilns in Baghpat district to protect the air quality of Delhi-NCR. Baghpat district has one of the most polluted air in the country.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s data, Baghpat district is recording ‘very poor’ air quality and stands at the fifth position in one of the most polluted cities after Kurukshetra, Muzaffarnagar, Bhiwadi and Greater Noida.

NGT Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel passed the order after hearing petitions for remedial action against illegal operation of brick kilns in Baghpat where about 600 brick kilns are illegally operating.

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“The concerned authorities in State of UP may keep a vigil against illegal operation of brick kilns so as to protect the air quality in the NCR,” stated the bench also comprising judicial member S.P. Wangdi and expert member Nagin Nanda and slated the matter to January 11, 2021.

The Tribunal observed that since there was an injunction issued by it in another matter — Utkarsh Panwar vs. Central Pollution Control Board, the “brick kiln activities could not have been allowed by an order of the Chief Secretary which was mentioned before the Tribunal.”

The Additional District Magistrate of Baghpat has also filed further reports stating that the brick kilns which are operating have been closed.

The order came in the backdrop of a massive spike in the air pollution in Delhi. The pollution reaches a crescendo every winter, when pollution from smoke emanating from stubble burning and other sources combine with the suspended water droplets in the lower atmosphere to form a thick blanket of noxious smog.


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