Green Tribunal fines Delhi govt over pollution; Mumbai’s air quality too deteriorates

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The National Green Tribunal asked the Delhi government to deposit Rs 25 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for their failure to curb the problem of pollution in the city.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel also asked the AAP government to furnish a performance guarantee of Rs 25 crore with the apex pollution monitoring body to ensure that there is no further lapse in this regard.

It said despite its clear directions, there is hardly any action for compliance of orders of the tribunal and pollution continues unabated in blatant violation of law and under the nose of the authorities “who have hardly done anything concrete except furnishing excuses and helplessness”.

The green panel said that even after more than four-and-a-half years, the complaint of the aggrieved parties is that the pollution caused by the unregulated handling of plastic continues to remain unabated.

The tribunal was hearing pleas filed by Mundka village resident Satish Kumar and Tikri-Kalan native Mahavir Singh alleging pollution caused by burning of plastic, leather, rubber, motor engine oil and other waste materials and continuous operation of illegal industrial units dealing with such articles on agricultural lands in Mundka and Neelwal villages.

The tribunal had earlier directed the Delhi chief secretary to co-ordinate with the concerned municipal authorities, police authorities and other officers responsible for compliance of orders of this tribunal already passed referred to ensure compliance at the ground-level forthwith.

It had asked the chief secretary to hold a joint meeting with the persons considered responsible for compliance and till the orders remain un-complied, continue to hold such meetings at least once a month.

“It will be open to the chief secretary to seek feedback from concerned inhabitants about the ground situation,” the NGT had said.

Meanwhile, Mumbai too woke up to grey skies, as the air quality in the city slipped into the ‘very poor’ category bringing it on par with the national capital. The city has been experiencing poor air quality for the past week but this is the first time it has slipped so low this year.

“In the northern and western regions, the temperature has witnessed a sudden drop giving rise to a cold wavelike situation which has impacted the air quality as the boundary layer comes down due to the cold,” said Gufran Beig, Program Director, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. He said that the resultant phenomenon leads to the trapping of pollutants thereby causing a dip in the quality of air.

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