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NGT refuses to review order on action plan for pollution

PTI
Published : Sep 25, 2018, 1:25 am IST
Updated : Sep 25, 2018, 1:25 am IST

The NGT had divided air pollution into four categories — Category I (Average), II (Severe), III (Critical) and IV (Environmental Eme-rgency).

National Green Tribunal. (Photo: PTI)
 National Green Tribunal. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has refused to review its order that directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to monitor the implementation of graded response action plan to combat different levels of air pollution.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the tribunal did not intend to supersede or replace the procedure laid down in the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) Notification.

It said the directions were meant to supplement the graded response action plan (GRAP) as an effective additional mechanism for compliance of its directions.

“Review has been sought on the ground that... The order is contrary to the Policy of the GRAP notified by the Environment Ministry by Notification dated January 12, 2017 whereby task of implementation of GRAP for Delhi-NCR, has been vested in the EPCA. This policy, as per the applicant, was also approved by the Supreme Court,” the bench said.

“The tribunal had clearly expressed that the direction for monitoring by the Central Pollution Control Board was in respect of the directions issued in the order dated December 18, 2017 and was not intended to supplant the procedure laid down in the EPCA Notification ... For the aforesaid reason, we do not find any merit in the review application and is accordingly dismissed,” it added.

The tribunal was hearing a plea seeking review of its the July 27, 2018 order directing CPCB to monitor the implementation of GRAP to combat different levels of air pollution.

It had directed that GRAP, already notified, be implemented by CPCB with some modifications and further reports in the matter be filed before the apex pollution monitoring body and the same be monitored by it.

“If any further directions required, the CPCB may act in accordance with law or matter brought before this Tribunal,” the bench had said.

Observing that air quality in the national capital was “severe” for most of the month, the tribunal had earlier directed implementation of the GRAP.

The apex environment watchdog said there was no uniformity and “unanimity” in action plans of the CPCB and the Supreme Court appointed EPCA.

The NGT had divided air pollution into four categories — Category I (Average), II (Severe), III (Critical) and IV (Environmental Eme-rgency).

On the other hand,  CPCB has formulated six categories, which refer to different levels of pollution — good, satisfactory, moderately polluted, poor, very poor, severe and above severe — EPCA’s action plan, termed GRAP, has formulated five categories. These are severe plus or emergency, severe, very poor, moderate to poor and moderate.

Tags: national green tribunal, environment pollution control authority (epca), central pollution control board