NGT pulls up Delhi, Punjab, Haryana over pollution
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday pulled up the governments of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana over the rising levels of pollution.
Slamming the Delhi government over adverse condition of air quality in the national Capital NGT Chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar asked why preventive measures were not taken on time.
“Why haven’t you started artificial rain or sprinkling of water on roads from helicopters to control dust,” he asked the Delhi government. He further said: “This is an emergency situation and why is the government not bothered about air pollution and the health of the citizens?”
The AAP government, however, informed the Tribunal about a slew of measures it has taken to curb rising air pollution in the city. The Delhi government has intensified efforts at vacuum cleaning and washing of city roads to curb pollution due to dust. The government has ordered schools to remain closed for three days and stopped all construction and demolition activities till Friday.
The coal-based thermal power plant at Badarpur in south Delhi, which generates fly ash, was ordered to be shut for 10 days. The NGT also criticised the Haryana and Punjab governments over rising pollution and for not making any serious efforts to stop crop burning in their states.
System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research showed levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 breaching the 500-mark in most locations on Monday afternoon.
Air quality improves in city marginally
Delhi’s air quality improved marginally on Monday as wind speed picked up dispersing the pollutants and the thick cover of hazardous haze that shrouded the city for nearly a week. However, monitoring agency SAFAR had 24-hour-average (rolling) level of respirable pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 in the ‘severe’ category at 622 and 808 micrograms per cubic metre respectively at 5 PM.