Right to life has been infringed with impunity by the authorities and other stakeholders who have been mere spectators to such crisis, said National Green Tribunal (NGT) bench on Tuesday while issuing directions to deal with the pollution situation in New Delhi on Thursday.
NGT advisory includes banning construction and industrial activities and entry of trucks, while lambasting the Delhi government and civic bodies over the worsening air quality in Delhi and neighbouring states.
“No construction activity will be carried out on structures until further orders… all industrial activities in Delhi-NCR” till November 14, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
No trucks from outside or within Delhi will be permitted to transport any construction material, said the green panel. NGT also imposed a ban on the entry of diesel trucks more than ten years old and said that no vehicle from outside or within Delhi will be permitted to transport any construction material.
NGT has given advisory to sprinkle water where PM (particulate matter) 10 is found to be in excess of 600 micrograms per cubic metre.
NGT has also directed the authorities to implement EPCA’s (Environment Pollution Control Authority) directions to improve ambient air quality.
The panel also asked civic bodies to constitute teams to ensure there is no burning of waste in Delhi-NCR.
The tribunal told the authorities that holding meetings, writing letters and shifting responsibility from one to the other for non-performance can hardly be made an excuse for meeting “such a bad environmental emergency”.
The national capital is experiencing ‘severe’ air quality under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels have breached the permissible standards by multiple times.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has recorded ‘severe’ air quality, meaning that the intensity of pollution was extreme.
On Wednesday, the NGT had lashed out at the Delhi government and the CPCB for not issuing orders to shut down construction and industrial activities in the capital despite the worsening air quality.
It had also ordered Punjab, UP and Haryana governments to spell out the steps have they taken to prevent crop burning in the states adjacent to the national capital.
The tribunal was hearing a plea for immediate action against the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR stating that it was an ‘environmental emergency’ that was affecting children and senior citizens the most.
The plea has also sought direction to Delhi and the neighbouring states to file a status report with regard to the steps taken to educate people regarding waste burning and the pollution caused by it.
(With agency inputs)