New Delhi, Nov 8:
Taking a serious note of the deteriorating air quality in Delhi, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday banned all construction activities for one week in the Delhi-NCR region.
The Tribunal also slammed the Delhi government and the neighbouring states for not implementing its orders to curb pollution.
“To bring smog situation in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) under control, the NGT has slapped a ban on construction activities and stone crushing in the region for the next seven days,” Counsel for East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) Balendu Shekhar told IANS.
Slamming the Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana governments over rising air pollution, NGT Chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar sought to know how they implemented NGT’s orders on dust pollution, paddy stubble burning and vehicular pollution.
“All replied in negative. To which NGT Chairman asked them to go through its orders, analyse them and give explanation how will they implement them to curb pollution,” Shekhar said.
He said the NGT also directed Delhi and the four neighbouring states to hold coordination meetings with Delhi’s Chief Secretary to prepare an action plan to battle air pollution.
The NGT also criticised the Delhi government and the civic bodies in the city for not taking adequate measures to control air pollution.
“When PM 2.5 pollutants touched its maximum value, what steps you (the government and civic bodies) took to control it, except doing meetings? Why no strict action was taken in the first five days?” Kumar asked.
The EDMC Counsel said the NGT directed the civic bodies to send their 50 per cent staff in the field to ensure that no one burnt leaves or waste and violating its orders.
The air quality continued to be “severe”, with System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) showing levels of PM (particulate matter) 2.5 and PM 10 breaching the 500-mark at all locations.