Citizens entitled to breathe fresh air, says green panel

NGT dismisses appeal seeking relief from ban on diesel gensets

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has dismissed an appeal moved by the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam that sought relief from the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority’s (EPCA) order on banning the use of diesel generators to combat air pollution in the National Capital Region.

A Bench headed by NGT chairperson while dismissing the appeal held that citizens are entitled to breathe fresh air and authorities are required to explore ways of supplying electricity.

“If the appellant cannot supply electricity, it is for the appellant to find out ways and means within the purview of law. This cannot be ground to use diesel generator sets in violation of air quality norms. Citizens are entitled to breathe fresh air. Thus, no interference is called for,” the Bench held.

Noting that the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was “duly notified” under existing provisions of the environment protection laws, the Bench observed, “Impugned action is an undoubted need for protection of environment and public health.”

The directions came when the green panel was hearing an appeal moved by the nigam which stated difficulties in distributing electricity in the absence of the diesel generators.

“Grievance of the appellant is that while it is under the obligation to distribute electricity, there are limitations in distributing electricity in the entire area due to technical non-feasibility. This makes it a compulsion to use diesel generator sets,” the Bench observed.

In a meeting held on October 7, the EPCA had taken a decision on the need to “bring in additional measures to combat pollution so as to ensure that levels of pollution can be contained,” the Bench noted.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 7:09:00 AM |

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