The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday expressed concern over the deteriorating air quality in the capital and threatened to suspend entry of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh transport vehicles if they did not switch to CNG at the earliest.
The directive comes a day after a study suggested that 40% of fine particulate pollutants in Delhi originate from Delhi-NCR. “I am being told that over 50% of pollution in Delhi is caused by fine particulate matter which originates from neighbouring statesa bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
“The air quality in Delhi is getting worse. You should take every measure to introduce CNG stations in your states. If you don’t introduce CNG in your state, we will stop your state transport,” Kumar said.
The tribunal directed senior officials from all the four northern states, besides officers of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, to appear before it on October 19, the next date of hearing.
Criticising the lack of initiatives taken by the states to curb pollution, the bench said: “What have you done with regard to the introduction of CNG stations in your areas? We had asked you to submit your response on the issue. What have you done on this?”
The observations came during the hearing of a case filed by Vardhaman Kaushik on the deteriorating air quality in the national capital. Last month, the NGT had asked the UP and Haryana government to mull over the possibility of installing CNG stations in NCR. It had also refused to grant permission to over ten-year old diesel vehicles to ply in these areas.
According to a report jointly prepared by TERI and the University of San Diego, California, about 60-80% of ozone concentration in Delhi is attributed to sources outside the city. It stated that in-house sources in Delhi contributed about 32% (10–65%) of the air pollution in the capital, while NCR (National Capital Region) sources (other than Delhi) contribute an additional 25%(13–37%). The remaining 43 per cent (25-63 per cent) is due to sources outside of NCR, the report added.