NGT comes to Delhi’s rescue, rolls out checklist

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said children are the worst-affected by pollution, steps will be taken to protect them

December 12, 2015 12:00 am | Updated November 16, 2021 03:57 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The government is also examining the possibility of sprinkling water on vacant areas and greenery to control dust pollution. Photo: V. Sudershan

The government is also examining the possibility of sprinkling water on vacant areas and greenery to control dust pollution. Photo: V. Sudershan

Conscious of the fact that vehicular emission is not the only source of pollution in Delhi, the National Green Tribunal on Friday reiterated its order banning burning of waste, unscientific storage of construction material while advocating creating green belt in the city to keep the dust from rising.

The DDA, all bodies including NDMC, Delhi Cantonment Board and Government will also have to examine the possibilities of sprinkling water on vacant areas and greens to control dust.

With reports that children are worst-hit by pollution not only during travelling but even in classrooms etc and as Delhi government mulls closing schools from January 1-15, the bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed it to consider greening the schools and installing air filters.

“In relation to taking of adequate measures for preventing air pollution in schools particularly Government, Corporation Schools, NCT Delhi is directed to submit a proposal for creating green belt, converting the ground by grass and installation of air filters in the schools,” the bench said.

Later in the day, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said children are most affected due to rising pollution and government will make a policy of odd-even formula with their involvement.

“We have received a proposal to shut schools (between January 1 and 15). We are considering the proposal and if needed, government will announce holiday for all schools,” Mr. Sisodia said.

There is a winter holiday in all government and private schools from December last week to the first week of January every year. If the Education Department declares holidays for 15 days between January 1 and 15, schools will be then shut from December 25 to January 15.

“Principals and teachers have to conduct a drive to make the students aware about the sudden increase in pollution level. Children are the biggest stakeholder as 26 lakh students are studying in schools and the policy of odd-even formula will be made with their involvement,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.

Mr. Sisodia also said that people are affected due to rising pollution but children are the most affected and the government is concerned about this.

The Tribunal also came down heavily on rampant burning of waste etc, the Tribunal directed “all Corporations, DDA, Cantonments and SHOs of the concerned Police Stations that they would ensure that no waste is burnt in the open and none is disobeying the directions, besides rendering himself liable for punitive action under law and to pay Environmental Compensation as per Section 15 and 16 of NGT, Act, 2010 at the rate of Rs. 5,000 per event.

Similarly, it would also apply to dumping of construction and other waste material in public places and on the river bed.

The NGT also once again emphasised on ills of unmindful storage of construction material which is adding dust and particulate matter in the air.

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