04/11/2016 2:30 PM IST | Updated 04/11/2016 2:40 PM IST

NGT Summons Environment Secretaries Of Four States Over Record Pollution

Such severe pollution levels can cause breathing problems, lung and heart diseases among many other ailments.

Adnan Abidi / Reuters
Commuters make their way amidst the heavy smog in New Delhi, India, October 31, 2016.

NEW DELHI -- Taking cognizance of the alarming air quality in Delhi, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday asked the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to take steps to control and curb the pollution.

The Tribunal also summoned the Environment Secretary of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan over pollution increase in the region and asked Environment Secretaries of all the four states to submit a report on burning of agricultural residues and pollution control to the tribunal by Nov 8.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the matter, the tribunal had on Thursday directed Delhi Chief Secretary K.K. Sharma to hold a meeting urgently with all the concerned authorities.

The NGT's directive came while hearing a case related to the rising menace of Chikungunya and Dengue.

During the hearing the Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had argued that the presence of mosquitoes declined drastically after Diwali.

"Have you done anything to prevent children from going to school, did you give advisory to public. The people have the right to breathe fresh air," the tribunal observed while reprimanding the Delhi Government over its lacklustre response towards tackling air pollution.

As per System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), levels of Particulate Matter (PM) 10 levels reached a record 500 mark on Wednesday.

The city witnessed low visibility and smog throughout Wednesday evening and night. The reasons for this are a drop in wind speed and rise in humidity in the atmosphere. Such severe pollution levels can cause breathing problems, lung and heart diseases among many other ailments.

Next date for hearing is scheduled on 8 November.

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