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Vigil against open burning of leaves, garbage upped; order flouted in Okhla

As Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday directed various land owning agencies to speed up the vigil at sites under their jurisdiction to prosecute offenders who violate norms by burning leaves, garbage etc., in the open during winter months, the act is flouted with impunity in Okhla.

Directions were given in the meeting to review the action being taken against the violators of dust control norms and individuals found burning leaf/waste/plastic materials.

The meeting was attended by the Revenue Department, Delhi Development Authority(DDA), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), East/North/South MCDs, Delhi Cantonment Board(DCB), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), PWD, Traffic Police and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in its order in O.A. 21 of 2014 titled “VardhmanKaushik Vs. UOI” has put a complete prohibition on burning of garbage, dry leaves, waste, plastic, rubber etc and has also directed for complying with dust control measure norms at construction sites.

The NGT has also directed all Land Owning Agencies in Delhi to impose fine of Rs.5,000/- on persons found burning leaf/waste/plastic material in the open and fine up to Rs.5 lakh on the owners/ builders who are found not following the dust control measures while carrying out construction activity.

Delhi government has conferred powers on SDMs, Tehsildars and Asst. Engineers of PWD to levy fine of Rs. 5000/- on the persons found indulging in burning of dry leaves, waste material, plastic, rubber etc. in open.

All land owning agencies, municipal corporations, DDA, Delhi Cantonment Board etc., have also been similarly vested with powers to impose levy of like amount from the violators.

The Minister expressed his concern that most of agencies have not taken adequate action in this regard. During the meeting, the Municipal Corporations were also not in a position to cite a single instance where the sanitary staff or horticulture staff has been held responsible for failing to take action against the burning of leaf/waste/plastic material in open.

Hussain also directed DDA and Delhi Metro to increase vigil at the sites under their jurisdiction and prosecute the offenders

The Minister observed that all the land owning agencies need to speed up action against the violators in the winter season especially from December to February when due to foggy conditions, the tendency to develop smog in the atmosphere increases which adversely impact the environment and human beings.

Hussain stressed that conserving and protecting the environment should be the concern of everyone, particularly of the agencies/authorities who have been vested with the powers to take action against the violators.

The Minister observed that people need to join fight against pollution and emphasized the need for active public participation for effectively combating pollution. Hussain said the Govt. is fully committed to tackle pollution and take all necessary measures for providing better air quality to the residents of Delhi.

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