New Delhi: As the air quality of the national capital region continues to stay put in the ‘very poor’ category with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 328, SP Singh Parihar, Chairman of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) sent written notices to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) commissioners for their failure to act on air pollution related grievances filed by the citizens.
Mr. Parihar issued two separate notices on November 29, listing instances and asking for an explanation as to why action should not be initiated for prosecution of the SDMC and EDMC commissioners for “failing to effectively control air polluting incidences” under their jurisdiction. The watchdog has sought response to the notices within 48 hours.
..you are hereby directed to show cause as to why action under Section 15 of Environment (Protection) Act 1986 should not be initiated for prosecution of Commissioner, EDMC/SDMC for having failed to effectively control air polluting incidences under jurisdiction of EDMC/SDMC, the letter concludes.
This move comes as the Supreme Court reprimanded the Centre as well the local municipalities over failing to address 749 pollution complaints received through social media and over 3,000 through the “Sameer” app, a mobile application of CPCB. The court had also conveyed the gravity of the situation by directing CPCB to jail the lax officials.
“Some complaints have been dealt with, but others are pending because they have to be addressed by local agencies”, the centre had informed the apex court on Monday.
“Prosecute the local agencies. Send them to jail. That is the only option left,” the top court had responded.
As per the notices, EDMC received about 534 complaints during November 1 to November 22, but the municipal body only resolved only 133 complaints, 272 complaints appear to be under investigation, whereas 129 complaints are yet to be attended to.
On the other hand, out of the 866 complaints received by SDMC, 200 complaints have been resolved, 334 complaints are being investigated and 332 are yet to be looked into.
Talking to NDTV about the notice on Monday, a senior EDMC official assured that all the complaints would be resolved by the end of day (December 3rd).
We have either resolved or were looking into 60 per cent of the complaints already but owing to the letter, we will resolve all the complaints before the day ends. We will reply to CPCB informing them that all the complaints have been resolved, he said.
SDMC officials, however, are yet to comment on the matter.
Last week, CPCB had informed the top court that most of the air pollution grievances received from the citizens were related to construction and demolition activities followed by waste burning and road dust.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.