The General Secretary of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Committee, Sarwan Singh Pandher, on Wednesday, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government to discuss their issues or allow farmers to proceed to Delhi to hold a protest peacefully.
The National Green Tribunal on Friday pulled up various states where the air quality index dipped to ‘severe’, ‘very poor’ and ‘poor’ categories.
“We expected some improvement after the first order, but we do not find any,” it said.
Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar government lawyers said they have filed action taken reports, while Uttar Pradesh’s counsel said all efforts are being taken to improve the air quality.
The tribunal had issued notices to chief secretaries of various states, including Delhi, and directed them to take immediate remedial steps and submit the action taken reports.
“Most of the details in the action taken reports of the states are only up to October when the situation was not so bad. Bhiwani, Bathinda, Bulandshahar, Churu — the air quality is bad. Even after our order, the situation in Bihar is worrisome,” it said.
The bench headed by Justice Prakash Shrivastava asked the Punjab government, “Is there any improvement in any place? Point out one city where the situation has improved? No improvement in Amritsar.. Bathinda remains in poor category… We showed you satellite image last time, what is shown in report and shown in satellite image does not match.”
“What will happen to residents of cities in Punjab. Cities in Punjab are engulfed in smoke. It rained today and God came to your rescue because he (God) also realised that nothing is being done at your end,” it said.
The NGT added that the maximum number of places in Haryana are affected by a spike in pollution. “Look at Fatehabad – it is severe and hasn’t improved since November 3,” it said.
The bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava, also comprising Sudhir Agarwal and A Senthil Vel, on Friday took suo moto exercise of powers on the basis of the air quality bulletins of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for different cities from October 20 to November 1.
The NGT noted that the said reports show that there are various cities where the air quality index has dipped to the “very poor” or even “severe” stage.
Noting the seriousness of the issue, the tribunal has impleaded the chief secretaries of the states concerned; chairman, Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM); member secretary, CPCB; and the National Task Force through its head secretary, MoEF&CC, as parties in the case.
It has sought their responses and directed them to take remedial measures and submit action taken reports reflecting compliance of the directions issued by the tribunal from time to time in this regard.