#DelhiAirPollution: Delhi government fined Rs. 25cr for not curbing pollution
At a time when the national capital is choking on "very poor" air, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed a Rs. 25 crore fine on the Delhi Government for failing to curb pollution. The NGT pulled up the Kejriwal-led government for not checking the pollution menace and not complying with its previous orders for closure of over 51,000 industries in non-conforming areas. Here's more.
Slapping the fine on Delhi's AAP government, the NGT has also directed the amount be recovered from Delhi Government officials' salaries and polluters of the environment as well. The green panel also said that if the Delhi Government doesn't pay the fine on time, then it will have to pay a penalty as high as Rs. 10 crore every month.
The NGT's move comes a week after the Supreme Court directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prosecute Delhi Government officials for not acting on as many as 250 pollution complaints they received from citizens. A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said the government officials who failed to act on the citizens' complaints will have to be prosecuted.
"Why don't you (CPCB) prosecute these (Delhi Government) officials? You should prosecute them. Let these people realize what they have done," the SC bench had told Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, who was appearing for the CPCB.
The over air quality index (AQI) of Delhi on Monday was recorded at 314, which falls in the "very poor" category, according to CPCB. The pollution watchdog said that 19 areas of the national capital recorded "very poor" air quality while six other areas recorded "poor" air quality. The PM2.5 level was at 174, while the PM10 level was recorded at 358, CPCB added.
Meanwhile, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) has also said the national capital's air quality was "very poor" and added that there was an "insignificant intrusion (of pollutants) from outside of Delhi." "It is an ideal time to ascertain the impact of local emissions on the pollution level of Delhi," the Center-run SAFAR stated.
Delhi's air quality remained in the "very poor" category the last week before improving to "poor" briefly on Saturday and slipping back to "very poor" on Sunday. Authorities predicted the pollution level could rise further in the coming days. CPCB recently issued notices to South Delhi and East Delhi Municipal Corporations for their failure to curb air-polluting activities under SDMC and EDMC jurisdictions.