Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding crop residue burning, 01/10/2019

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Ganga Lalwani Vs Union of India & Others dated 01/10/2019 regarding remedial action to prevent burning of crop residue resulting in air pollution particularly in the NCR Region. For the last six years, the matter has been a subject matter of consideration before the Tribunal and according to certain statistics, 25-30% air pollution in NCR is caused by burning of crop residue in and around Delhi in October and November every year.

The Tribunal felt that effective environmental governance is the need of the hour and the Central government has the onus to provide "guidance in terms of effective strategies to be used for monitoring the situation." "At the level of States, the responsibility may be more onerous and still more onerous at the District level," the order added.

The NGT directed for the creation of a special cell in the office of the Chief Secretary to review the situation on a daily basis at least for the next one month. Similar cells should also be set up at the office of the District Magistrates or at other appropriate levels. The monitoring mechanism should be ready by October 7, 2019 and information placed on the website of the state to encourage public participation and awareness. The Joint Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture alongwith Secretaries, Agriculture from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been directed to appear before the NGT alongwith the status report on October 15, 2019 for further consideration.