Delhi pollution: NGT orders authorities to take all possible measures to improve air quality

Delhi pollution: NGT orders authorities to take all possible measures to improve air quality

New Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) Expressing dissatisfaction with the action taken by authorities to control air pollution, the National Green Tribunal had directed them to “take all possible measures to ensure that the quality of air improves in Delhi”.

The tribunal, while taking suo motu (on its own) cognisance about a media report regarding the worsening air quality in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), directed the filing of further action taken report within a week.

“It is difficult to accept the stand of different authorities that they taking all possible measures to control air pollution and improve the quality of air because the air quality index of Delhi does not indicate any significant improvement,” it said on Monday.

The NGT observed that considering the health of the citizens of the national capital, the authorities concerned are expected to take the best possible measures to improve the air quality.

In the last hearing on November 9, it had sought a fresh action taken report from the authorities, including the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM).

On Monday, a bench of National Green Tribunal Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava noting the Air Quality Index (AQI) from November 9-19 said, “In a block of past 11 days the air quality was severe for three days, very poor for five days and poor for three days. Thus we do not notice any significant improvement in the air quality.” The bench, also comprising Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Expert Member A Senthil Vel, said the Delhi government had filed an additional action taken report to show that action has been taken to reduce air pollution.

Noting the report filed by the CPCB, it said, “ It has been pointed out that only the measure relating to control of dust emission using dust suppressant have been found to be effective...

'The pilot study for assessment of reducing air pollution in urban areas by using outdoor cleaning systems (also called Smog Tower) is under evaluation and the draft report in this regard has been received from IIT Bombay and same is under review.” The bench said that MCD had filed a report stating the various measures taken to reduce air pollution, such as mechanical road sweepers, sprinkling of water on roads and prohibiting open burning.

Noting a newspaper report, the tribunal said serious health hazards were being faced by the residents of the different age groups and categories because of the poor air quality.

“As per the said report, especially asthmatic patients, elderly persons, and pregnant women are facing complications and health risks,” the tribunal said.

“Considering this human health aspect the authorities are expected to take the best possible measure so that air quality in the city improves. Let the further action taken report be filed within one week,” it added.

The matter has been listed on November 29 for further proceedings. PTI MNR MNR RT RT

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