Supreme Court nod for smog towers, anti-smog guns in Delhi

Representational image. File

Representational image. File  


The court directed the project to be completed in three months.

The Supreme Court has agreed with the Delhi government’s proposal to install a smog tower at Connaught Place within three months even as it passed a slew of directions to reduce air pollution.

"As proposed in the reply of the Delhi government, let the smog tower at Connaught Place be completed by Delhi government as proposed in their reply affidavit," a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta ordered on January 13.

The Bench also ordered a smog tower to be installed in Anand Vihar as pointed out by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The court ordered the Delhi government to provide space of 30x30 metres for installation of an experimental tower at Anand Vihar within seven days. The court said this project would be funded by the Centre even as the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change would monitor it. The court directed the project to be completed in three months.

The court directed that anti-smog guns should be used in Delhi and the National Capital Regions (NCR) at large construction sites, road construction stretches, mining activities; large parking sites on unpaved areas, during large public gatherings, demolition activities and while sprinkling on dust-prone traffic corridors.

The court made it compulsory for authorities to use of anti-smog guns in Delhi-NCR at the site of projects that require environmental clearance from the State/Central level and which have a built-up area of more than 20,000sqmt including excavation, material handling and other dust-generating activities. The authorities would have to prepare a ‘pollutor pays’ policy to cover the cost of installation of the anti-smog guns at these sites.

The court directed the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan government to identify plastic, industrial and other toxic waste and ensure they are not burnt but incinerated. Piled-up waste has to be removed within six weeks. The court also directed the pollution control boards of the four States to monitor at night and take stringent action against polluting industries.

The court asked the Delhi government to work out a comprehensive plan within three months to have full (100%) capacity to deal with garbage and wastes. The court has also directed the pollution control board and the Indian Bureau of Standards to randomly check the quality of water supplied in Delhi and submit a report in one month.

The court ordered penal action against developers in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan found flouting the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules of 2016. The court ordered the States to file status reports on the action taken against rogue developers, including how many have been blacklisted. The court has sought a report on the existing facilities for construction and demolition waste recycling in the four States. It has asked the four States to come out with a comprehensive plan on waste management.

The court has ordered local authorities of Ghaziabad, Panipat and Meerut to ensure remedial measures are taken in connection with waste pile-ups in certain areas and file a report in a month.

The court asked why Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab should not be “saddled” with the burden to pay compensation for failing to prevent pollution and stubble-burning. It ordered a comprehensive plan to prevent stubble-burning to be placed before it.

The 11-page order said the plan should have a detailed plan for crop residuary management and its use as fertilizer, cattle food and bio-fuel. It asked the government to take a final decision on the incentive/disincentive of ₹100 per quintal and the in-situ farming.

Further, the court directed the Centre, Punjab, Haryana and UP governments to prepare a scheme to give access to small and marginal farmers to advanced farming machines such as combine harvesters, happy seeders, etc., either free of charge or for a nominal rent.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 9:00:09 AM |

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