It seems like we are living in a gas chamber: Delhi High Court on air pollution

The court directed the Delhi government to ensure “zero tolerance” for violation of rules.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Updated: December 4, 2015 7:15 am
delhi, delhi pollution, delhi air pollution, delhi air, delhi pollution control, delhi hc, delhi news, pollution, air pollution CBDR-RC has been at the heart of climate change conversations ever since — and has also been the cause for much heartburn in recent times.

Taking note of air quality monitoring data on high amount of pollutants in the national capital, Delhi High Court Thursday observed, “It seems like we are living in a gas chamber.”

A bench of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also observed the Centre and Delhi government’s action plans on air pollution were “not in action” because people were not following the rules. The court directed the Delhi government to ensure “zero tolerance” for violation of rules. The bench observed “one problem with India” was people did not follow the laws.

The court directed traffic police to strictly implement laws to ensure people did not change lanes and cross the yellow line to the other side for overtaking, as it causes jams. “Don’t allow them to do that,” said the court. “As a first measure, you announce on TV and radio that there will be zero tolerance for shifting lanes and crossing the yellow lines. Issue challans.”

Expressing ire over the non-implementation of “action plans”, the court directed the Centre, Delhi government, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and civic agencies to submit a “complete action plan with specific timelines for work” within three weeks. The court directed the Delhi government to file detailed reports on implementation of notifications issued in October regarding challans for burning garbage and leaves, as well as a notification empowering sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) and tehsildars to penalise builders if dust and debris were being emitted at construction sites.

“GNCTD to file report from all SDMs by next date of hearing,” directed the court.

It also asked the Centre and Delhi government to raise awareness about burning of leaves, garbage and plastic being banned in the capital. Under orders from National Green Tribunal, the Delhi government had issued notifications on October 20 empowering SDMs and tehsildars to issue challans for these violations.

The court also directed the Delhi government to come up with a policy to regulate bursting of firecrackers during the coming wedding season and festival season. It asked the government to “try to dissuade people from excessive use of firecrackers, through electronic and print media as it is for the safety of the citizens themselves.”

The bench took up the issue of air pollution in the city as a suo motu PIL earlier this year. The matter will now be taken up on December 21.

Some suggestions from court

* Traffic police to give protective gear including masks to personnel.
* Delhi government to consider creating rules to restrict entry of cars on roads, make car-pooling compulsory/ban entry of even or odd number vehicles on certain days.
* Centre to expedite work on funding intelligent traffic management system.

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  1. W
    Who.Dr
    Dec 4, 2015 at 3:31 am
    All because of AAP
    Reply
    1. A
      Aam Aadmi
      Dec 4, 2015 at 3:20 am
      C'mon AAP. Get cracking. I don't think you need Delhi Police under you to take decisions in this regard. AAm Aadmis are suffering.
      Reply
      1. D
        DD
        Dec 4, 2015 at 3:32 am
        Road should be properly constructed to avoid jams. Avoid Jam at toll Tax. All dust near by road should be completely removed. Along with checking Cars and bikes for non-polluting certificate, all buses/ trucks and 3-wheelers must be monitored for the same.
        Reply
        1. d
          dv1936
          Dec 4, 2015 at 2:02 am
          This is a primary Aam Aadmi issue and what has the AAP sarkar been doing about it.
          Reply
          1. S
            Sathish
            Dec 4, 2015 at 2:47 am
            Pretexts being created by modern devils to tax air!! Target - aam s!
            Reply
            1. S
              Somendramohan Ghosh
              Dec 4, 2015 at 10:31 am
              DELHI M.L.A DEMANDING 400% HIKE ON THEIR RY . PUBLIC BREATHING POLLUTED AIR IN GAS CHAMBER.
              Reply
              1. S
                Somendramohan Ghosh
                Dec 4, 2015 at 10:25 am
                ELIMINATE THE DIESEL EXHAUST SMOKE FOR SURVIVAL AND TO FOLLOW SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT TOWARDS SMART CITIES. AUTOMOBILE POLLUTION IS CAUSING PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARDS.... 1 TIME INHALING OF DIESEL SMOKE IS EQUIVALENT WITH 4 CIGARETTES SMOKING
                Reply
                1. T
                  times
                  Dec 4, 2015 at 4:47 am
                  You say you are educated..... and you take years and years to understand the truths & facts;take years and years to take a verdict and the democracy take years to implement........ this is not the kind of courts & judges the country needs....his is not the kind of politics the country needs.... this is not the kind of leadership the country needs....with your indecisive mind you shall know how far the country had stooped so low in standards.Do not look down on people...work for them sitting in high positions - making statement like this in overnight is ridiculing public.
                  Reply
                  1. K
                    KAKA FAN
                    Dec 4, 2015 at 10:41 am
                    I like majority of delhites, have two cars one ending with ODD and the other EVEN... so Im free to drive all 365 days......! :P
                    Reply
                    1. W
                      warrior scholar
                      Dec 4, 2015 at 4:57 pm
                      why has the new Delhi govt. stopped the incentives for zero emission electric vehicles? if pre electric vehicles are incentivised and made cheaper through subsidies the pollution levels can be controlled. the subsidies offered by the previous Delhi govt have been removed by this new kejriwal govt.
                      Reply
                      1. V
                        vijay
                        Dec 5, 2015 at 4:09 am
                        People did not follow the laws in India because.... judges did not follow the laws till date....we have Rule of Judges in India and seldom the Rule of Laws.... People in India are convinced that if you have deep pockets then you can purchase a good lawyer who can do and undo anything in the Courts and at the least he can protect you for at least 30 years.....so why bother about laws!!!!! I wish SC judges take note of these complete PROBLEM.....
                        Reply
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