press trust of india
New Delhi, 1 July
The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Centre on the issue of enforcing emission standards in tune with EURO V for diesel and petrol vehicles in the country. A Bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir sought response from the Centre on a PIL seeking its direction to introduce updated National Ambient Air Quality Standards in consonance with EURO V.
The petition, filed by Mr Arvind Gupta, an economist, pleaded that steps needed to be taken to prescribe stringent emission standards for vehicles so as to control air pollution and protect the health of citizens.
It sought an appropriate direction for taking of adequate steps immediately to prescribe emission standards in tune with EURO V on all appropriate parameters such as particulate matter (RSPM), nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and lead for diesel and petrol vehicles uniformly throughout India, the petition said.
Referring to a WHO report, the petitioner submitted that Indian cities have now become among the world’s most polluted areas and the executive and the legislature have failed in their duties to frame guidelines to control the pollution.
“The data available from WHO shows that Indian cities are almost 10 times more polluted than other cities of the world which is a serious infraction of the Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India.
WHO estimates that more than 2 million people die every year from breathing in tiny particles present in indoors and outdoors due to air pollution,” he said. “PM10 particles, which are particles of 10 micrometers or less, which can penetrate into the lungs and may enter the bloodstream, can cause heart disease, lung cancer, asthma and lower respiratory infections,” the petition said, adding in 2005, WHO records Delhi as being very polluted.