NGT Lays Down Strict Measures To Curb Delhi Pollution
As Delhi witnessed the worst kind of air quality in past few days, National Green Tribunal (NGT) has tagged this as 'environment emergency' and has asked neighbouring states- Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, to take serious actions especially when the PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels cross 251 and 431 micrograms cubic metre. Looking at the situation, the tribunal also laid down few measures to limit the repercussions of bad air.
In a statement issued, NGT made its stance clear and declared that whenever air pollution reaches severe levels, Delhi and its four neighbouring states will have to take emergency measures to tackle the situation. This includes sprinkling water on roads from choppers and not from cranes, banning construction and stone crushing activities, shutting down of polluting power plants and ban on usage of diesel generators. This also covers restrictions on diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old, to be implemented in Delhi from now on and to be left for consideration by Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. States will have to shut down power plants, hot-mixers, brick kilns and diesel generator sets whose emissions are above the prescribed limit, the NGT said in its interim order.
Apart from emergency measures, NGT has passed a host of directions to be followed irrespective of emergency conditions. This includes circulation of 'happy-seeders' that sow wheat without leaving residues to prevent agricultural pollution, installation of air purifiers/filters near schools and mechanised cleaning of roads.
The green court also mentioned that over three lakh litres of petrol and diesel is burnt daily in the national capital in traffic jams. A committee will be formed to look into this aspect and minimise this usage.
With a slew of measures being suggested by the NGT bench, the first meeting of state monitoring committees would be held on 24 November and would also discuss agricultural burning and possible solutions.