NGT questions Delhi, UP, Haryana governments over severe air quality
November 8, 2017

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 7 November 2017 asked the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana over worsening air pollution levels in the states.

It also questioned the governments for not undertaking the preventive steps to control the severe air quality in the region.

The bench also noted that the ambient air quality is so bad that children are not able to breathe properly. It also directed the CPCB to state what emergency directions it has issued in exercise of its powers to tackle the situation.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar rebuked the state governments for not being prepared in advance to tackle the emergency situation as the Delhi-NCR region witnessed heavy smog and severe air quality on 7th November morning as pollution levels breached the permissible standards.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded 'severe' air quality on the same day due to the extremity of intensity of pollution.

As per the earlier direction of the NGT, the state governments needed to spray water using helicopters to control the smog.

Background

The NGT bench was hearing a plea for immediate action against the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR. The plea was filed by environment activist Akash Vashishta.

The plea questioned that despite the elaborate orders from the NGT in 2016, the authorities have not have taken preventive measures to control alarming air pollution levels that Delhi-NCR region witnessed post Diwali on 17, 18 and 19 October. 

The plea also highlighted the increasing number of cars in the city and asked for putting a cap on vehicles to reduce air pollution.