India’s green court came down heavily on the central government, Delhi and neighbouring states on Monday for doing little to tackle mounting air pollution in the Capital that touched alarming levels this season.
The National Green Tribunal blamed the Centre, Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab for not following guidelines prescribed by the green body– resulting in the thick layer of smog that has engulfed the Capital for a week, ANI reported.
“What have you done till now to curb pollution,” the NGT asked, according to ANI.
The green court was especially harsh with the city administration, asking why it hadn’t started water sprinkling on roads to reduce dust.
“Isn’t it your responsibility to curb pollution? What are municipalities doing, they were asked to use machines for cleaning purposes earlier,” the court said.
The tribunal’s intervention comes amid mounting concerns over Delhi’s worsening air quality.
The city government has unveiled an emergency list of measures – including temporary closure of schools and halting of construction work – while the Centre and city lieutenant governor have called separate meetings on Monday.
But many fear the steps are too fragmented to tackle the billowing clouds of particulate matter pollutants that choke Delhi and are a public health hazard for the city’s 18 million residents.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has blamed stubble burning in Punjab for the spike in pollution.
“What action have you taken against those violating NGT orders? 70% land in Punjab is used for crop burning, what is Delhi government doing?” NGT was quoted as asking by ANI.