The National Green Tribunal has asked chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to prepare an emergency action plan to fight air pollution. “We propose a committee comprising chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and UP who shall meet once in two months and prepare an action plan for implementation of directions on air pollution,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The tribunal also asked officials to classify different levels of pollution while asking the chief secretaries to take disciplinary action against officials who were not executing the orders to mitigate air pollution.
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“Have any of the states ever thought of how to deal with the pollution? What kind of pollution do you anticipate? We are asking you whether any of your wise officers have ever sat together to classify different levels of pollution? It may be poor, bad, hazardous or an emergency. These are different levels of pollution. Have any of them applied their minds on this? It is shocking the way people of Delhi have been treated for the last seven days. You are not able to persuade people not to burn crackers in Diwali. People were bursting crackers even on Chhath. You must credit the people of Delhi that they are so tolerant,” the Kumar said.
The tribunal also proposed a sub-committee of secretaries of Environment, Urban development, Central Pollution Control Board, state pollution board which would report to the main committee and submit a report on implementation of the decisions taken by the panel.
Air quality improves
Delhi’s air quality improved on Wednesday and Thursday will be similar. According to SAFAR, the 24-hour average of PM 2.5 concentration is expected to be 101.7 micrograms per cubic metre on Thursday.