Everyone living in the national capital should ensure that they do not cause air pollution, the National Green Tribunal said while dismissing a builder’s plea challenging the penalty imposed on him for causing pollution.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar dismissed the plea filed by a South Delhi builder against a fine of Rs 50,000 imposed on him for storing sand and other construction materials in the open.
“It is undisputed that dust is one of the main elements which causes air pollution in Delhi... In the entire plea, the applicant has not even made averment that he was storing all these materials which generate dust and are bound to cause air pollution, if not stored, maintained scientifically in consonance with the directions issued by the Tribunal... “It is the duty of every person, resident of Delhi for carrying on business of any kind to ensure that they do not cause air pollution and which affects the ambient air quality and causes disadvantage to public health and environment,” the bench said.
The directions came during the hearing of a plea by Vinod Kumar who had moved the NGT against the order passed by Mehrauli SDM imposing an environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 for storing construction material in violation of the orders of the Tribunal.
In his plea, Kumar said that SDM gravely “erred” in imposing the environmental compensation or penalty as he was running his business on a plot and not involved in any construction activity.
The green bench said there was no “legal infirmity” in the SDM’s order and the “Polluter Pays” principle has been correctly invoked in the case.
“The entire appeal read together does not provide any cause for the Tribunal to interfere in the order passed by the SDM. The impugned order neither suffers from any legal infirmity or factual error. There is no error of jurisdiction even,” the bench said in its order.
On April 10, 2015, the Tribunal had passed a slew of directions to check air pollution caused by dust emanating from construction sites in the National Capital Region and said “construction material of any kind that is stored at the building site will be properly covered so that it does not disperse through air.”