The National Green Tribunal has slammed Delhi and neighbouring states for not filing their reply on a plea alleging that illegal operation of brick kilns has resulted in severe air and water pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR).

A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore said that despite its February 7 direction for filing of the replies in three weeks, Delhi, NCR states and state pollution control boards have not filed their response.

“Counsel for State of Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Delhi and state pollution control boards are given last opportunity to comply with the order dated February 7 for filing of the report in respect of all brick kiln within the area referred in the original application.

“In case they fail to do before the next date of hearing, they would be liable to be saddled with costs,” the bench said while posting the matter for next hearing on May 2.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Delhi resident Shailesh Singh seeking action against brick kilns which are operating without complying to pollution norms and causing immense air and water pollution.

The plea had also claimed that these brick kilns were running without obtaining necessary clearances from statutory authorities concerned.

The petition had listed seven districts of Uttar Pradesh, including Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Hapur and Muzaffarnagar, 13 districts of Haryana, including Gurgaon, and two districts (Alwar and Bharatpur) of Rajasthan, besides Delhi.

Referring to a 2017 Central Pollution Control Board report, it claimed that out of 2,125 brick kilns in seven districts of Uttar Pradesh, 1,728 were operating illegally.

Similarly, out of of 172 brick kilns in Alwar, 109 were running without permission, while 13 of 110 lacked necessary approvals in Bharatpur, it said