The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and the governments of Delhi, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan to meet within two weeks and come up with comprehensive plan to check pollution in the national capital.
A bench headed by justice MB Lokur also asked the Centre to implement in four weeks ban on furnace oil and Petcoke used by industries in the NCR region, terming it as a single biggest source of pollution in Delhi.
The bench quoted a study of a Boston-based institute which said that every year around 3000 people die in Delhi due to air pollution-related diseases.
“One has to think are we doing the right thing. Eight people (on an average) are dying in Delhi due to air pollution,” the bench told Solicitor General (SG) Ranjit Kumar.
The SG said that the Centre favours a ban on sulphur-heavy fuels used by industries in the National Capital Region (NCR) but “are we doing the right thing if we do not give enough time to the industry to switch over to alternative fuel”.
The bench also comprising justice PC Pant also granted nod to CPCB to withdraw Rs 2.50 crore from Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) fund created on direction of apex court.
The apex court directed CPCB that Rs 2.5 crore should be used for purchasing equipment for real time air quality monitoring stations being set up in Delhi and NCR.
It also directed EPCA to inspect the pollution under check (PUC) centres in NCR region also.