NHRC ‘dissatisfied’ with procedures, summons chief secretaries of four states over increased air pollution


New Delhi: Amid increasing air pollution in Delhi-NCR, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the chief trustees of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to appear before it on November 10 to discuss the matter, an official statement said on Friday.

The NHRC said it was “not satisfied” with the measures taken so far to address the issue, and indicated that straw burning in states surrounding the national capital was the main cause of air pollution in Delhi and the NCR region.

The National Human Rights Commission asked chief trustees to report within a week on the steps their governments have taken to stop straw burning.

Their reports should also indicate the impact of the smog towers and anti-smog guns regarding the number of these anti-smog guns in operation and what Delhi and other governments will take in the near future.”

She added, “The Punjab and Haryana report should also provide specific information about the impact of the on-site management scheme for crop residue.”

The commission initiated this guidance following a report and recorded material received from the Union’s Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF & CC) in response to a notice issued by it on 22 June.

It said it issued the notice after learning on its own of media reports alleging that air pollution is a major threat to human health in India, reducing the overall life expectancy by 5 years and 9.7 years for the residents of Delhi.

“The committee noted the measures taken so far but noted that these are not sufficient to reduce the pollution level in Delhi-NCR. From a considered viewpoint, there is a lot that needs to be done to reduce the pollution level immediately.”

Despite the numerous trends from time to time, “nothing has improved much.” She said one of the main causes of air pollution in the Delhi NCR area is the burning of straw in the surrounding states.

The NHRC further stated that “Despite numerous directives by the Supreme Court, the National Green Court and other authorities, the air quality in Delhi-NCR has not seen the improvement required for a human-friendly environment, which cannot be allowed to remain that way. forever” .

Deteriorating air quality in Delhi

Air quality in the national capital on Friday morning became “severe” with the city’s general air quality index (AQI) at 472, according to data from the Air Quality System, Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

The AQI currently stands at 562 in Noida (UP) in the ‘Severe’ category, 539 in Gurugram (Haryana) in the ‘Severe’ category and 563 near the University of Delhi in the ‘Severe’ category. Delhi’s overall air quality index currently sits in the “severe” category at 472.

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