Want CP smog tower working, orders top court; CM seeks suspension of DPCC secy | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Want CP smog tower working, orders top court; Delhi CM seeks suspension of DPCC secy

Nov 08, 2023 05:38 AM IST

A 2-judge bench directed DPCC secretary Ashwani Kumar remain personally present in court on the next date of hearing.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the non-functional smog tower in Delhi’s Connaught Place (CP) to be made operational immediately, and also summoned the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) chairman Ashwani Kumar.

The Capital enveloped in smog on Tuesday.
The Capital enveloped in smog on Tuesday.

The bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia said, “We want this tower to be working,” and added, “We direct the chairperson of DPCC to remain personally present in court on the next date.” The court, while dealing with the issue of air pollution in Delhi, was informed by amicus curiae and senior advocate Aparajita Singh that the smog tower, inaugurated in August 2021, was not operational for some time. The court noted that disciplinary action has also been proposed against the chairman of DPCC.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

Also Read: As Delhi battles toxic air, smog tower in Connaught Place 'non-operational'

On October 25, Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai had blamed the DPCC chairman for arbitrarily shutting down the smog tower after dues remained unpaid to IIT. Rai sought his suspension “for not implementing the decision of the council of ministers, arbitrarily stopping payment of 2 crore to IIT Kanpur that brought the source apportionment study to a halt and for acting upon unsubstantiated personal opinions thereby putting the health of 20 million residents of Delhi at risk.”

DPCC earlier suggested that the smog tower was found to be “largely ineffective” in tackling air pollution.

The Delhi government informed the court that disciplinary action has been proposed against Kumar. The court said, “This is ludicrous. We want the tower to be working. As to against which officer what they do is their business.”

Also Read: As Delhi chokes, AAP minister responds to BJP's allegations on smog tower

The same day, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal recommended that Kumar — an IAS officer — be suspended for allegedly shutting down two smog towers in the Capital. The recommendation was madeto the National Capital civil Services Authority (NCCSA). The CM office released a statement on this on Tuesday, which stated, CM Arvind Kejriwal has recommended immediate suspension of the DPCC chairman Ashwani Kumar to NCCSA, in a move to expedite action on bureaucracy obstructing the government’s efforts to fight rising pollution.”

The CM’s recommendation to suspend the DPCC chairman is based on a letter he received from Rai on October 25, in which he had flagged alleged that “deliberate actions” by Kumar disrupted the government’s pollution mitigation efforts.

Kumar did not respond to the HT’s queries on the allegations.

The SC was informed by Singh that the smog tower, installed at Baba Kharak Singh Marg in CP, was opened on an experimental basis to study real-time source apportionment and forecasting for advance air pollution management in Delhi.

IIT-Bombay was asked to assess its performance and submita report to DPCC. The court was told by an applicant that the report has not been placed in the public domain. The court directed DPCC to share this data by Friday, the next date of hearing. The second smog tower in Delhi was installed by the Central Pollution Control Board in Anand Vihar.

The CM’s recommendation to suspend the DPCC chairman is based on a letter he received from Rai on October 25, in which he had flagged alleged that “deliberate actions” by Kumar disrupted the government’s pollution mitigation efforts.

Kumar did not respond to the HT’s queries on the allegations.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, March 01, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On