NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal on Thursday issued a slew of directions to deal with the worsening air quality in Delhi and neighbouring states, banning construction and industrial activities and entry of trucks, as it lambasted the Delhi government and civic bodies over the situation.
“No construction activity will be carried out on structures until further orders… all industrial activities in Delhi-NCR which are causing emmissions will also not be allowed to carry on their functioning” till November 14, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
An irked green panel also imposed a ban on the entry of diesel trucks more than ten years old and said that no vehicle from outside or within Delhi will be permitted to transport any construction material.
The tribunal told the authorities that holding meetings, writing letters and shifting responsibility from one to the other for non-performance can hardly be made an excuse for meeting “such a bad environmental emergency”.
Noting flagrant violation of the prescribed limits of PM (particulate matter) 10 and PM 2.5, it banned construction and industrial activities causing emmissions till November 14.
“You (officials) go to the hospital and see what kind of trouble people are facing. You kept playing with people’s life. Right to life has been infringed with impunity by the authorities and other stakeholders who have been mere spectators to such crisis,” the bench said.
The NGT also directed the authorities and the civic bodies to sprinkle water where PM 10 is found to be in excess of 600 micrograms per cubic metre.
It further directed the authorities to implement EPCA’s directions to improve ambient air quality while asking the civic bodies to constitute teams to ensure there is no burning of waste in Delhi-NCR.
New Delhi is experiencing ‘severe’ air quality under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels have breached the permissible standards by multiple times.