Green tribunal says it will arrest officials who take Delhi’s air pollution lightly

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The National Green Tribunal has threatened to issue an arrest warrant against those government officials who are being complacent on the matter of vehicular pollution in the national capital.

A bypass over the state of Delhi is being proposed to ensure the smooth passage of diesel-run trucks without interrupting regular traffic in the city. The tribunal now wants top officials involved in this project to attend court hearings and provide a plan on completion of this bypass.

Judges have also told state government to prepare a report on how many old vehicles are flouting pollution norms within 48 hours. The Delhi government had earlier submitted that few vehicles entering the capital are found to be violating pollution norms.

Incoming vehicles had mostly been blamed for this menace. Around 15 lakh vehicles coming from outside Delhi are mostly contributing to the rise in pollution levels, noted the tribunal.

“According to the Government of India, vehicles do not cause pollution and according to the state government vehicles from outside cause pollution,” the court said.

During the last hearing in the case, the Centre had submitted that vehicular pollution is only a minor contributor in air pollution, which is mostly due to the bad quality of fuel being used. The tribunal, however, did not seem very pleased with this argument and asked the Centre on what steps it had taken to prevent air pollution anyway.

Union Ministry of Earth Sciences also indicates in its data that over 50 percent of Delhi’s air pollution comes from vehicles.

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