- The NGT has banned all construction in Delhi-NCR for the next 7 days.
- The Delhi-NCR region has been covered by thick smog over the past week.
- The tribunal has directed the states to come up with an action plan to curb air pollution levels.
NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has finally cracked the whip in order to put an end to Delhi’s smog and banned all construction in Delhi and the NCR for the next 7 days.
The tribunal has taken a number of steps to curb pollution levels, including banning the operation of stone crushers and brick kilns for a week.
“What did you do when all this smog was going on and the particulate matter reached beyond prescribed limits? What steps did you take, except till yesterday? For the first five days nobody did anything, be it the states or the Centre. Show us one thing visible to common man,” the Bench said as it took the secretaries of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to task.
The states were directed to come up with an action plan to curb air pollution levels and to co-ordinate their efforts with Delhi’s Chief Secretary. The district administration of Ghaziabad has already banned construction activity for a week, while the Noida and Greater Noida administration is monitoring construction sites for possible violations of NGT norms of construction waste disposal. The Noida Authority had recently issued notices and fines against developers for violating norms.
Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) have been reeling under severe pollution levels, with the city being covered by thick smog over the past week. The levels of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 and 10 have soared since Diwali celebrations took place on October 31st, reaching levels unsafe for human health.
The NGT has also directed the municipal corporations of Delhi to depute 50 per cent of their staff to go to various sites across the city to ensure no dust pollution is caused due to construction and there is no burning of municipal solid waste.
The Delhi government has also temporarily closed a neighbouring coal-burning power plant and has ordered that roads be doused with water to settle dust. The use of diesel-powered electricity generators has also been banned for 10 days except at hospitals and cellphone towers.