The Delhi High Court on Thursday pulled up the civic bodies and government departments for their “failure” to comply with its order to remove debris and traffic congestion from Anand Vihar to improve air quality in the area.
A bench of justices BD Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar directed the East Delhi Municipal Corporation commissioner, chief engineer of PWD east, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) project manager, additional commissioner (traffic), a senior official of northern railway and an official from the Anand Vihar bus terminal to appear before it on February 16.
All the officials have to explain why steps have not been taken to follow the court’s order to ensure that traffic management at Anand Vihar is optimised and there is free flow of vehicles.
“From the discussion before us, it appears one of the major contributors of the very high levels of concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 in Anand Vihar area was the result of chaotic traffic conditions, leading to idling emissions as also on account of construction and roadside debris,” the court said.
After looking at pictures of the area submitted by amicus curiae Kailash Vasudev, the court said, “The photographs reveal very depressing state of affairs. There is unfinished construction, debris, plastic waste, dust lying along and on the roads. Public roads appear to be encroached by taxi owners, buses owners, vendors, food stalls”.
“This adds air pollution,” the court said.
A report submitted by Vasudev had revealed that the levels of harmful pollutants people are exposed to in east Delhi’s Anand Vihar were two to four times higher than air pollution levels in other parts of Delhi, which already is several times higher than the standard.
The court had directed the bodies to immediately take up the matter on a war footing to ensure that traffic at Anand Vihar was smooth and all the encroachers from the road be were removed.
The high court had issued the directions during hearing of a petition initiated on its own on the alarming levels of air pollution in Delhi.