NHRC notices to Centre, govts of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana
Commission says it is apparent that concerned authorities have not taken proper steps throughout the year to tackle life-threatening levels of pollution.
NEW DELHI: Taking serious view of the life-threatening high pollution level in Delhi-NCR, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday observed that it is apparent that the concerned authorities have not taken proper steps throughout the year to tackle the hazard.
"It is apparent that the authorities concerned have not taken proper steps throughout the year to tackle this hazard, which is amounting to violation of the right to life and health of the residents in the region," the NHRC observed.
Taking suo motu cognisance of the issue, NHRC sought reports within two weeks from different Union ministries and the governments of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab about effective steps taken and proposed to be taken by them to tackle the situation.
Notices were issued to the secretaries of the Union ministries of Environment, Health and Highways and Road Transport, along with the chief secretaries of the governments of the NCT of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana.
The Union Health Secretary is expected to give details about the preparedness of Centre-run hospitals and other agencies to attend to the people affected by pollution and steps taken to create awareness among the public at large.
NHRC is of the opinion that there is an immediate need for effective action to be taken by the Union and the state agencies.
It observed that proper implementation of the environmental laws is necessary and the state cannot leave its citizens to die due to the toxic haze.
"There is a need for an effective study by experts and proper implementation of their recommendations, including short-term and long-term measures. There is also a need for preventive medical check-ups for the people," the rights panel said.
The NHRC also observed that almost every newspaper and TV channel was running stories on the subject. The toxic smog in the city had become "an annual health hazard", particularly, at a time when the winters were about to start.
In NCR, Ghaziabad and Noida were the worst affected locations. As per reports, the air quality index had slipped into alarming levels.