• NGT: Shut power plants, stop construction on bad air days

    The National Green Tribunal said on Thursday that whenever air pollution reaches severe levels, Delhi and its four neighbouring states would have to take a set of emergency measures that include sprinkling water from choppers, stopping construction activities and shutting down polluting power plants and gensets.
    Passing a host of directions to tackle air pollution in Delhi and its neighbourhood, the NGT also asked for the setting up of a central and five state-level monitoring committees to check implementation of its orders and form action plans to check pollution.
    “When PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels cross 251 and 431 microgramscubic metre, it is an ‘environment emergency’ and states would have to take measures to tackle the situation. In other situations, normal measures will continue to be implemented,” said a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar.
    The NGT said farmers must be given “happy seeders” — machines that sow wheat without burning paddy residues — to prevent crop fires. During the period of severe air pollution, all construction, transport of construction material and stone-crushing activities must be stopped. States would also have to shut down power plants, hot-mixers, brick kilns and diesel generator sets whose emissions are above the prescribed limit, the National Green Tribunal said in its interim order.
    The green court further directed the state governments to gradually shift to mechanised cleaning of roads by purchasing vacuum machines.”Cleaning of dust manually should be stopped in a gradual manner and mechanised cleaning through machines should be introduced to reduce dust levels,” the bench said.
    It asked the four neighbouring states of Delhi — Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan — to consider banning diesel vehicles older than 10 years while directing Delhi to ensure strict implementation of its orders on diesel vehicles. Brandon Williams Authentic Jersey

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