NGT suggests variable office hours to check pollution
The National Green Tribunal today floated the idea of having variable office hours for the government and the private sector in the national capital to reduce vehicular pollution in peak hours and asked the Centre to deliberate with stakeholders on the suggestion.
New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal today floated the idea of having variable office hours for the government and the private sector in the national capital to reduce vehicular pollution in peak hours and asked the Centre to deliberate with stakeholders on the suggestion.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Centre to adopt innovative approach to curb pollution level and file a status report on compliance of its earlier directives.
"Variable working hours could be a solution. Courts and government offices in Delhi open up at 10 am and if we have a gap of one or two hours, this will help in reducing vehicular emissions immensely. Pressure on buses, autos and metro during peak hours could be reduced. Even business establishments' working hours could be regulated," the tribunal said.
It asked the Centre to deliberate on the idea with all stakeholders, saying it needed to take everyone along and come up with an innovative approach.
"You (Centre) can also take the universities along. If a child can go to school at 7 am, why can't a graduate," the bench said.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand said steps are being taken to reduce air pollution and in compliance with the tribunal's order, things have started moving.
Anand said the existing laws were sufficient but "we need effective implementation and this issue of air pollution needs long time measures."
The bench then cited a report saying that in 2000 the sale of diesel cars was only 4 per cent but in 2014 the sale of such cars was 60 per cent and those of multi-purpose utility vehicles had risen by more than 60 per cent.
The green panel asked the ASG to submit as to how the directions issued by the tribunal earlier in the matter were being complied with and what was the pollution percentage in terms of dust, vehicles and burning materials.
The bench also asked the Centre to specify its view on the life of vehicle.
The tribunal pulled up the Delhi government for not complying with its direction of setting up check posts at nine entry-exit points of national capital.