NGT issues notice on worsening air quality in Delhi, suburbs

NGT takes suo motu action over worsening air quality in Delhi. Authorities, including the Union environment ministry, asked for action-taken reports

With Delhi's AQI dipping to "poor" on Saturday, the National Green Tribunal has expressed concern about the health of the city's residents (photo: Getty Images)
With Delhi's AQI dipping to "poor" on Saturday, the National Green Tribunal has expressed concern about the health of the city's residents (photo: Getty Images)


The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken steps to address the deteriorating air quality in the national capital by issuing notice and requesting action-taken reports from various authorities.

These authorities include the Delhi chief secretary, Union environment ministry, and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). 

NGT initiated suo motu proceedings after taking into account media reports highlighting the worsening air quality index (AQI) in Delhi and the violations of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), an official said on Saturday, 21 October. 

The bench, headed by chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava and expert member A Senthil Vel, expressed concern over the continued problem of air pollution in Delhi, despite actions taken by the authorities. 

The green panel noted that the residents of Delhi are facing various health problems owing to this issue. 

As a result, the NGT decided to involve and issue notices to key authorities, including the chief secretary of Delhi, the member-secretary of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the commissioner of MCD, the member-secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and the Union ministry of environment, forest, and climate change (MoEF&CC). 

These authorities have been directed to submit action-taken reports detailing measures to control air pollution from various sources in Delhi, in accordance with the GRAP. 

The objective is to maintain the AQI within an acceptable range to protect public health, especially considering the winter season ahead. 

The matter has been scheduled for further proceedings on 8 November , highlighting the urgency and importance of addressing air quality issues in the national capital. 

The air quality in the national capital dipped to "poor" quality as the overall AQI of the city reached 266 on Saturday evening, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). The AQI at Dhirpur village in northern Delhi entered the "severe" category with PM 2.5 levels standing at 342.

When it comes to air pollution, PM stands for particulate matter — tiny particles of dust and other solid pollutants suspended in the air. The figure 2.5 indicates diameter measurement: 2.5 micrometers or less. Typically, the smaller the diameter, the greater the risks posed to humans and animals.

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