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Green tribunal directs traffic police to ensure congestion-free roads

Nearly three lakh litres of petrol is burnt by vehicles stuck in snarls or at red lights in the national 
Capital every day, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has noted.

Directing the traffic police and other authorities concerned to ensure that there is no congestion on city roads, a Bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, said any person who violates the tribunal’s directions on vehicular pollution should be strictly made liable for payment of environmental compensation.

It also made it clear that all amounts collected under NGT orders for environmental compensation should be utilised only for the purpose of prevention and control of air and water pollution.

“We have already noticed in our judgement that on the basis of the data available, nearly three lakh litres of petrol is burnt in the NCT of Delhi every day by stationery vehicles in traffic jam or at the traffic light...The Traffic Police, Public Works Department (PWD) and all public authorities shall ensure that there is free flow of traffic and there are no undue jams at traffic lights or otherwise,” the Bench said.

It also directed the Delhi government, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the three municipal corporations to ensure that all parks, flyovers and roads around government buildings were full of greenery to raise oxygen availability by 20 per cent. “It will help a large number of people to breathe fresh air. Efforts should be made to cover open land with green grass,” the Bench said.

The NGT had earlier passed a slew of directions, including setting up centralised and state-level monitoring committees, to prepare action plans to combat pollution in a bid to tackle environment emergencies.

It had directed that whenever air pollution reached severe levels, Delhi and its four neighbouring states would have to take a set of emergency measures, including sprinkling water from choppers, stopping construction and shutting down polluting power plants and gensets.
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