New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Monday imposed a fine of Rs 25 crore on the Delhi government for failing to check the menace of air pollution in the city.
The NGT came down hard on the Delhi government for being unable to check the consistently polluted air quality here. The NGT, according to news agency ANI, also said that the fine has to be paid by deducting it from salaries of Delhi government officials and from people polluting the environment.
In a stern warning, the NGT also said that a fine of Rs 10 crore would be imposed every month if the Delhi government fails to pay the initial amount of Rs 25 crore.
Locals in Delhi, as well as in adjoining areas of Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad, have been breathing air that is several times over the safe limit prescribed by the World Health Organisation. PM 2.5 levels have hovered above 300 in most parts of the National Capital Region (NCR) for several weeks. This is far higher than the 'Safe' level of 60.
While meetings, discussions and analysis have been aplenty, many say that no work has been done at the ground level to address the problem. What has taken place, however, are political mudslinging and blame games galore. While BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari has hit out at the Arvind Kejriwal government over the air quality here, Kejriwal has previously said stubble farm burnings in adjoining states are to be blamed. Now, with the stubble burning season over, people have begun questioning the Delhi CM on his claim.
Meanwhile, government agencies have said that prevailing weather conditions - falling temperatures, lack of strong winds and a low ventilation index - could ensure Delhi and adjoining areas continue to choke on invisible poison.