Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding deteriorating air quality in Delhi NCR and the resulting health effects, 20/10/2023
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In re: News item published in Indian Express dated 07.10.2023 titled “GRAP Stage 1 kicks in as air quality dips to poor, condition likely to prevail till Sunday” dated 20/10/2023.
The application was registered suo-motu on the basis of newspaper reports regarding the deteriorating air quality in Delhi NCR and the resulting health effects.
The court noted a newspaper report that mentioned that the Rs 22.9 crore smog tower at Connaught Place is lying defunct for the last 7 months. The expert opinion mentioned in the news report (The Times of India, October 20, 2023) said that installation of such an expensive smog tower was a waste of money and it does not help in cleaning the city's air quality. The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has sought time to obtain instructions and file an action taken report.
The NGT, October 20 directed notice to be issued to the Chief Secretary, Delhi; Member Secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC); Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD); Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Committee (CPCB) and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
The NGT directed them to file their action taken report on controlling air pollution from different sources in Delhi in accordance with GRAP to maintain AQI in acceptable range to safeguard public health in view of the winter season ahead, on or before the next date of hearing, November 8, 2023.