CPCB issues notices to Delhi traffic cops, DDA, civic bodies on pollution complaints
Although the overall pollution level in 2018 was lower as compared to previous years, Delhi had encountered the maximum number of severely polluted days in December 2018.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued show-cause notices to the Delhi Traffic Police, the Delhi Development Authority and two civic bodies for not taking adequate actions against complaints — to curb pollution in the national Capital — received on the Sameer app and social media accounts.
“Show-cause notices have been issued to the Delhi traffic police, DDA, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation for not taking adequate action to curb pollution. The agencies have been asked to reply why proceedings should not be initiated against the commissioner, vice chairman or special commissioner,” senior CPCB official said.
The notices were sent on Wednesday and the agencies have been asked to reply within three days. The civic body in Gurugram has also been issued the same notice.
Although the overall pollution level in 2018 was lower as compared to previous years, Delhi had encountered the maximum number of severely polluted days in December 2018. In January 2019 (till date), Delhi has already witnessed at least five severe days — the highest such number of days since 2016.
According to a recent study by TERI and ARAI, published in 2018, at least 36 per cent of the pollution in the national Capital comes from local sources within the city. Reports filed by CPCB teams on the ground have revealed that maximum violations were caused by construction and demolition waste and open dumping and burning of waste.
A senior CPCB official said that of the 429 complaints forwarded to the Delhi Traffic Police (DTP) since October 2018 through the Sameer app, more than 40 are still unattended. The DTP resolved 213 complaints but failed to do it within the stipulated time of 24 hours.
Same has been the case with the DDA and the civic bodies. At least 309 complaints were forwarded through the app to DDA. Of these, 205 were attended but not resolved. The east and south MCDs, meanwhile, resolved most of the complaints, but not within the stipulated time of 24 hours.
“In November 2018, the CPCB had directed the government agencies to join social media (Twitter and Facebook) and follow the CPCB’s social media handles so that complaints lodged by citizens could be addressed without delay. But these government agencies have been found to be lagging when it came to resolve such complaints,” said the CPCB official.
The south and east civic bodies received 205 and 123 complaints through social media accounts. But around 50 per cent of these complaints remain unattended.
In November 2018, the Union government and the Supreme Court had directed the CPCB to impose hefty penalties and initiate criminal proceedings against agencies and officers for failing to take actions against pollution, despite having information.