In view of the unwavering smog in Delhi-NCR, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday issued definitive directions to the authorities and listed the matter for hearing. Along with other measures, the tribunal has called a ban on construction and related activities in the region for next one week.
The tribunal pulled up Delhi Government and neighbouring states for not taking timely and substantial measures and directed them to put forth complete plan of action on implementation of its directions by tomorrow to curb air pollution.
A bench headed by Chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar rapped the secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh for not implementing its orders on crop burning and containing air pollution.
Justice Swatanter Kumar stated, ‘What did you do when all this smog was going on and the particulate matter reached beyond prescribed limits? What steps did you take, except till yesterday? For the first five days nobody did anything, be it the states or the Centre. Show us one thing visible to common man.’
"What preventive, precautionary and curative measure you are taking, tell us in tomorrow’s hearing," NGT told all the states.
The bench also questioned the relevance of Delhi Government’s order of shutting schools without any sound scientific reasoning. The state was questionED as to how it decided whether pollution indoor was better than outdoor for children. The AAP government was also slammed for sprinkling water through cranes instead of choppers to control dust pollution.
Following are the pointed directives issued by the tribunal for Delhi and surrounding states in its order dated 8th Nov.-
The NGT called for strict implementation of all its directives without default and advised the states to ensure compliance at every level. The tribunal deferred the matter for Tuesday and stated, ‘Various senior officers of the Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are present. They seek some time to answer the queries raised by the tribunal, particularly in relation to implementation of five Judgments that had been passed by the tribunal with regard to prevention and control of air pollution and adhere to the prescribed ambient air quality standards. This has greater reference to the rising pollution of air in Delhi and the surrounding states. At their request, we direct the matter be listed tomorrow for further submissions and orders.’
Read the order here.