Creates toxic smoke and poses serious environmental threat, says petition

The National Green Tribunal has banned the burning of tyres at public places, such as roads and areas surrounded by residential buildings and also during protests by political and religious groups as it is likely to cause health hazard.

The Western Zone Bench of NGT was hearing the petition against the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the State of Maharashtra, filed by a group of 14 lawyers who argued that burning tyres on the streets creates toxic smoke and poses a serious threat to the environment by increasing air pollution.

The petition had specifically sought relief through a ban on burning tyres during agitations by political and religious groups.

“There has been a complete absence of any rule on environment protection when it comes to burning of tyres on the streets,” said Asim Sarode, one of the petitioners, adding that the NGT order is a positive step in the direction of reducing air pollution.

As per the tribunal’s ad-interim order, the local police shall take immediate cognisance of burning of tyres. “Any dereliction in the directions given as above may entail penal consequences as enumerated in Section 26 of the National Green tribunal Act, 2010,” said the order.

Under Section 26, a failure to follow the order can result in a penalty of up to Rs 10 crore, which may be extended to Rs 25 crore and/or imprisonment of three years.