The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has suggested variable office hours for the government and private sector in Delhi to reduce vehicular pollution during peak hours and asked the government to deliberate with stakeholders on the suggestion.
The Tribunal also pulled up the Delhi government for failing to set up checkposts at nine entry and exit points of the capital, as per its directions. “Till date, we have no reply on the status,” the Tribunal said.
It also asked the Noida Authority, Ghaziabad Development Authority and state governments of Delhi, Haryana and UP to file status reports on its directions. The stay on the Tribunal order banning plying of over10-year-old diesel vehicles would continue till the next date of hearing.
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The NGT bench asked the Centre to adopt innovative measures to tackle air pollution, while directing it to file a status report on the compliance of previous directives. While asking the Centre to deliberate on the idea of “variable working hours” with all stakeholders, the Tribunal said, “Variable working hours could be a solution. Courts and government offices in Delhi open at 10 am and, if we have a gap of one or two hours, this will help in reducing vehicular emissions immensely… Even business establishments’ working hours could be regulated.”
It added that the move could potentially reduce the pressure on autorickshaws, buses and the Metro and that the Centre could take universities along, while observing that “if a child can go to school at 7 am, why can’t a graduate”.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand said that existing laws were sufficient but the need was for “effective implementation” and “long-term measures”. She added that steps were being taken to reduce air pollution in compliance with the Tribunal’s order.
The Tribunal also asked the Centre to submit a report about the implementation of its previous directions and the pollution percentage, in terms of dust, vehicles and burning of materials. It also asked the Centre to specify its view regarding the life of a vehicle, in terms of pollution emanating from its emissions.