Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding air pollution in 122 non attainment cities (NACs), 21/08/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of News item published in "The Times of India" Authored by Shri Vishwa Mohan titled "NCAP with multiple timelines to clean air in 102 cities to be released around August 15" dated 21/08/2020.

The issue related to remedial action for air pollution in 122 non attainment cities (NACs). Based on the reports of the CPCB dated March 6, 2020, July 21, 2020 and August 18, 2020 as well as the response filed by the MoEF&CC - declining to reduce time for abating air pollution under NCAP - the NGT passed a series of directions.

  • The court ordered that since out of 398 online stations required in the NACs, 173 had already been set up, the work of completing remaining 175 stations needs to be expeditiously completed within next six months.
  • The states and the union territories (UTs) has been asked to take steps prohibiting and shifting polluting activities which are unsustainable and non conforming and beyond the carrying capacity of NACs.
  • The NGT directed that carrying capacity and source apportionment studies should be simultaneously undertaken by the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) and pollution control committees (PCC).
  • All the concerned states/UTs must execute action plans, including control of stubble burning and bursting of polluting and noise generating fire crackers and give information about the status of compliance of action plans as on December 31, 2020 to CPCB before January 15, 2021.
  • The states must utilize Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds, undertaking special afforestation drives in forest lands or other permissible locations in 122 NACs as per Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act, 2016 to abate pollution in the said cities. 

These were some of the direction passed by the bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and S. P. Wangdi of the NGT.