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Why didn't Delhi, UP, Haryana govts take steps to check air pollution: NGT

Central Pollution Control Board asked to state what emergency directions it has issued to tackle the issue

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Delhi smog, Delhi air quality, air pollution
People commute during the foggy in Moradabad district on Tuesday. (Photo: PTI)

As the capital reeled under heavy smog, the Green Tribunal on Tuesday took the governments of Delhi, and to task and asked them to explain why preventive steps were not taken to control the 'severe' air quality in the region.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar lambasted the state governments for not being prepared in advance to tackle the emergency situation.

The capital woke up this morning to 'severe' air quality under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels breached the permissible standards by multiple times.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded 'severe' air quality, meaning that the intensity of pollution was extreme.

"The ambient air quality is so bad that children are not able to breathe properly. Why didn't you not spray water using helicopters as per our direction? You take instructions and inform us day after tomorrow," the bench said.

It asked the state governments to explain why they had not taken preventive and precautionary measures as it was reported earlier that such a situation was likely to arise.

The green panel also directed the CPCB to state what emergency directions it has issued in excercise of its powers to tackle the situation.

The tribunal was hearing a plea for immediate action against the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR stating that it was an 'environmental emergency' which was affecting children and senior citizens the most.

The plea said that according to CPCB report, following Diwali the ambient air quality of on October 17, 18 and 19 was found to be "very poor".

The plea also said that despite such elaborate orders from the NGT last year, the authorities have slept over it.

Highlighting the increasing number of cars in the city, the plea filed by environment activist Akash Vashishta said it was "imperative that the government should take a view" with regards to putting a cap on vehicles to reduce

The plea has also sought direction to and the neighbouring states to file a status report with regard to the steps taken to educate people regarding waste burning and the pollution caused by it.

First Published: Tue, November 07 2017. 13:55 IST