December 2018
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NGT slaps Rs 25 crore fine on Delhi govt for failing to curb air pollution
(New Delhi, Dec 03, 2018):The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday slapped a fine of Rs 25 crore on the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government for failing to check the increasing menace of pollution in the national capital. The environmental body directed that the amount will be deducted from the salaries of the Delhi government officials and people polluting the environment.

The NGT also directed that if the government fails to pay the fine on time a hefty penalty of Rs 10 crore per month will be charged on them.

The new development comes in the wake of the Supreme Court asking the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prosecute government officials for not acting on around 250 complaints received by it from citizens. In its order in November, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta had said officials who have failed to act on the complaints were required to be prosecuted. “Why don’t you prosecute these officials? You should prosecute them. Let these people realise what they have done,” the bench told Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, who was appearing for the CPCB.

Meanwhile, Air quality in Delhi oscillated between “poor” and “very poor” categories during the day due to local pollutants as authorities predicted a further rise in the pollution level. The CPCB recorded an overall AQI of 314, which falls in the “very poor” category. The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said the air quality in the national capital is “very poor” and at present, there is “insignificant intrusion (of pollutants) from outside of Delhi”. “It is an ideal time to ascertain the impact of local emissions on the pollution level of Delhi,” SAFAR was quoted as saying by PTI.

The CPCB said the air quality was in the “very poor” category in 19 areas of the national capital, while in six areas it was recorded in the “poor” category. The PM2.5 level was recorded at 174 and the PM10 level at 358, it said.

Delhi’s air quality has been in the “very poor” category for the past one week but on Saturday it had improved to “poor” category for a brief period. It again slipped into “very poor” status Sunday, authorities said. The pollution watchdog has issued show cause notices to SDMC and EDMC for failing to control air polluting activities under their jurisdiction.

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