Taking a serious view of its health hazards, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently prohibited burning of tyres in public places.
“There will be prohibition on burning of tyres in open areas, public places and in the localities surrounded by the residential areas, schools, hospitals, offices etc. in view of the potential air pollution and health hazards,” the tribunal ruled.
The tribunal’s ruling came on a petition filed by lawyer Asim Sarode and 13 others hailing from various districts in the state. The petitioners had contended that “the burning of tyres has now become a regular feature in any social and political agitation resulting in pollution and environment damage”.
While the petitioners did not seek action against an individual or a group, they urged the tribunal to ban tyre-burning as it was environmentally unsafe. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) told the NGT that laboratory tests of burning tyres showed that “tyre-burning in open atmosphere generates highly toxic, mutagenic and hazardous emissions, primarily owing to incomplete oxidation”.
The MPCB, therefore, recommended that the state government should issue a notification prohibiting burning of tyres. The board also told the tribunal that “out of 162 tyre-remoulding industries, only 55 were registered with MPCB, which shows that everything is not well in the used tyre management”.
The tribunal also asked the state environment department and the MPCB to conduct a scientific study on the life cycle of used tyres and frame suitable guidelines/regulations to ensure environmentally sound disposal practices of used tyres in the next eight months”.