Representational Image
Representational Image

The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday again lashed out at the governments of Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana over the alarming situation of air pollution in the national capital and adjoining regions and the laxity while dealing with this big problem.

Questioning the government’s decision to sprinkle water using cranes, the NGT asked why helicopters were not being used to do the same. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had recently announced a number of steps to curb pollution in the city.

With Delhi pollution reaching alarming level and citizens increasingly suffering from breathing and other related problems, the NGT said, “This is a matter of life and death. You have forced the children to confine themselves to their houses.”

Slamming the Delhi government over the adverse condition of air quality in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR), the NGT asked that why timely action was not taken to combat the air pollution.

“Cracker bursting during Diwali and stubble burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana during this season are known factors to adversely affect the air quality. However, despite that, no major steps were taken by the Delhi Government in advance to tackle the pollution,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

“Did you hold any meeting in the month of August or September to prepare the state to tackle pollution? The Delhi government did nothing in the last five days and let the pollution levels in the capital escalate,” NGT said.

“You have any data that shows a reduction of smog? What happened to your proposal of sprinkling water using a helicopter? Why are you sprinkling water through cranes and not helicopters?” the tribunal said in a series of questions.

“Officers present here aren’t revealing ground reality. All we see is construction work on Delhi-Chandigarh route that violates guidelines,” it said further.

The NGT came down heavily on Punjab and Haryana governments over ’emergency like situation in Delhi’ and not making any serious effort to stop crop burning in their states.