- School children, senior citizens most affected by current air quality: Plea
- Government should put a cap on vehicles to decrease the air pollution: Plea
- State steps taken to educate people on waste burning: Plea
New Delhi: A plea for immediate action against the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR was moved in the National Green Tribunal on November 1, stating that it is an ‘environmental emergency’ which was affecting children and senior citizens the most. The plea, which was likely come for hearing before a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, said that according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) report, post Diwali the ambient air quality of Delhi on October 17, 18 and 19 was found to be “very poor”.
“Even as late as October 21, the situation was grim as ever as the ambient air quality of not only Delhi but surrounding areas of NCT Delhi show air quality ranging from ‘very poor’ to ‘severe’.
“For instance adjoining areas of Delhi like Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziapad had ‘severe’ air quality as per CPCB records, while Gurgaon along with Delhi had ‘very poor’ air quality,” the plea, filed through advocates Sanjay Upadhyaya and Upama Bhattacharjee, said.
It said that the school children and senior citizens would be most affected by the current “environmental emergency” caused due to extreme air pollution in the national capital over the few weeks.
“The citizens have a right to get clean air to live and lead better life environmentally which has also been read into Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
“However, the inaction on the part of the respondent authorities leads to denial of the rights. Since the ambient air quality even on October 21 was 389 which as per the last year order that would be treated as ‘Environmental Emergency’ the applicant has approached this tribunal.”
This situation gets aggravated with the fact that the adjoining areas of NCR have further degraded air quality which only adds up to the woes of the citizens breathing toxic fumes as opposed to clean air, the plea said.
Despite such elaborate orders from this tribunal last year, the authorities have slept over the directions passed by this tribunal, the plea said.
Highlighting the increase in number of cars in the city, the plea filed by environment activist Akash Vashishta said that it was “imperative that the government should take a view” with regards to putting a cap on vehicles to decrease the air pollution.
The plea has also sought direction to the Delhi and the neighbouring states to file a status report with regard to steps taken to educate people regarding waste burning and the pollution caused by it.