Coming straight to the key issue, with the air in Delhi beginning to worsen once again, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on December 4 has pulled up the Delhi government headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for not filing a comprehensive action plan detailing ways to deal with the condition. It also questioned authorities on why they held the India-Sri Lanka cricket match at Delhi despite the bad air quality? Why could the match be not held at any other appropriate place?
It merits no reiteration that the Bench also minced just no words in making it absolutely clear that, “Every newspaper has been carrying headline that the air pollution was going to be higher this week. Still you took no action. Even the players were playing the match wearing masks. You should have not held the match if the air quality was so bad. Are people of Delhi supposed to bear this?” The Tribunal also pulled up the Delhi government for not introducing odd-even car rationing scheme at this point of time when the air quality is severe!
As it turned out, the AAP government was also pulled up for not introducing the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme at this point when the air quality is severe. It said that, “You want exemptions for two wheelers but you do not apply your mind that these 60 lakh vehicles cause the maximum pollution.” It also said that despite stating before the Tribunal that 4,000 buses would be introduced to decongest the city roads, the city government has not procured a single bus even after three years of assurance. This is really most shocking to learn!
It must be added here that the NGT Bench had on November 17 directed the Delhi government and other NCR states to submit an action plan. The plan was supposed to contain measures that could come into force automatically when pollution hits emergency levels. It is a matter of deep regret that even though Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan have already submitted their plan well in time, Delhi is yet to do so!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.