The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday asked the central government to come up with the best solution to tackle pollution and adopt a holistic approach to deal with the issue.
The tribunal was examining the status of implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and other measures adopted to control air pollution. It had asked the Delhi Chief Secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee chairperson, Central Pollution Control Board member secretary and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change joint secretary to appear before it today. Pulling up the centre, the tribunal said, “Why has the government not been able to work out a system for prevention? The steps taken in an emergency situation is like disaster management. Instead of just dealing with the problem there has to be a holistic approach. Methods need to be revisited.”
The central government submitted before the tribunal that “Meetings have been held at the level of secretaries. We have given Rs 1150 crores to different states, 14,000 machines were provided last year and 50,000 machines have been pressed this year too.”
It added that at the ground level the farmers need a major push, and municipal and industrial waste burning needs to be controlled as it contributes 60 per cent to pollution.
“The industrial waste burning has to be made the utmost priority. Dust supplements need to be used, water sprinkling has to be done, construction and demolition to take suitably in place,” it submitted before the tribunal.
The NGT said that due to the ban on construction, the workers were getting affected, “We are told every activity of construction work has been stopped. Who suffers here? The construction workers, they become unemployed. Huge funds are lying unused in welfare fund under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act.”