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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Tuesday directed the Delhi government to convene a meeting of authorities concerned to come up with a solution to tackle the deteriorating air quality in the capital. The direction to the AAP government came in the context of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) having told the tribunal earlier that there was no improvement in air quality in Delhi during the second week of the odd-even scheme implemented in April.
In its report, the CPCB had said that based on data collected from seven monitoring stations, the “decrease in vehicular emission was not a dominant enough factor to impact observed data”. It had also said the examination of air quality during the second phase of odd-even by the board had found an “increase in the concentration of pollutants at most monitoring locations during the scheme”.
NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the Delhi Chief Secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and other stakeholders to hold a meeting regarding the ambient air quality in the capital. “The counsel appearing for CPCB… says there has been no improvement in ambient air quality of Delhi during implementation of odd-even scheme… The Chief Secretary, NCT of Delhi shall conduct a meeting in relation to ambient air quality in Delhi,” directed the bench. The tribunal will hear the matter on November 16.
The directive was in connection with a petition filed by scientist Mahendra Pandey seeking independent monitoring of air quality index. He had raised the point that vehicular emission was not a major contributing factor to pollution. Referring to an IIT Roorkee study, Pandey had claimed that no significant change in air quality was registered during the first phase of the scheme implemented between January 1 and 15. In April, the NGT had asked the CPCB to independently monitor and record data of ambient air quality in Delhi during the second phase of the odd-even scheme.