To check the alarming pollution level in Delhi, the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday banned construction activities for one week in Delhi and National Capital Region. The tribunal ruled that no stone crusher and brick kiln should operate for one week in the region.
It slammed Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and UP for not taking prior steps to control crop burning and ordered the states to give complete mechanism on implementation of its directions to curb air pollution.
The tribunal also questioned the Delhi government over its decision to shut schools due to air pollution, asking if any scientific study was conducted before giving such order. It lashed out at Delhi government for showing ‘laxity’ while dealing with alarming situation of air pollution and smog in the city.
Questioning the government’s decision to sprinkle water using cranes, the NGT asked why helicopters were not being used to do the same.
Delhi’s air quality has steadily worsened after Diwali. Apart from crackers’ smoke, burning of crop stubble in farms contributed to the thick cover of hazardous haze that has been shrouding the city for nearly a week.
The air quality have levels of harmful PM 2.5 particles hovering at dangerous levels, something that has been seen in cities like Beijing.
These fine particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter are linked to higher rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease.