The principal bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Justice Sudhir Agarwal (Judicial Member), and Dr Senthil Vel (Expert Member) has constituted a seven-member committee to look into the failure of authorities in controlling air pollution around All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
An application was submitted, which stated that a significant number of hawkers, shopkeepers, and vehicles are contributing to pollution and hindering the timely movement of ambulances. Pavements are encroached by residence or commercial activities, it was alleged.
The NGT was also told that there is a lack of a sufficient green belt to absorb the dust and carbon dioxide generated. To maintain the air quality within the prescribed limits, measures to handle garbage and biomedical waste in a scientifically sound manner are not being implemented adequately, it was submitted
The applicant highlighted that even healthy individuals visiting the area may be at risk of diseases due to air pollution. The applicant also provided photographs of the encroachments and articles demonstrating the negative effects of air pollution.
It was submitted that data from three AAQ Monitoring Stations near AIIMS in November-December indicated that the air quality was classified as "Severe."
After hearing the applicant, NGT was of the opinion that the issue requires careful consideration, and it is necessary to verify the facts through an independent expert committee before taking any further action.
Therefore, the NGT has formed a joint committee consisting of seven members, with the Member Secretary of CPCB as the chairperson. Other members of the committee include the DCP (Traffic), the DFO of the area, representatives from MCD and DPCC, and the Director of AIIMS or their nominee, as well as a nominee from Vardhman Mahavir Medical College & Safdarjung Hospital.
The Committee is tasked with considering the reported allegations, including the traffic and parking status, and proposing a plan for mitigating air pollution in the area.
The NGT has suggested measures to control air pollution like regulating traffic, transitioning to battery-operated vehicles in designated areas, creating no-vehicle zones, removing encroachments and hawkers, planting more trees, implementing noise and dust control measures at strategic locations, and sprinkling water.
The Tribunal directed that the Member Secretary of DPCC and the Director of AIIMS or their nominee will jointly serve as the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.
The Committee is authorized to make recommendations to address the situation and is required to submit its report to the Tribunal within one month.
Case-Gaurav Sharma v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Ors.