Give Details Of Action Taken To Reduce Air Pollution Due To Traffic: HC To Authorities

Give Details Of Action Taken To Reduce Air Pollution Due To Traffic: HC To Authorities

A detailed affidavit was filed by MPCB stating that it has completed an audit of 191 industries in the red category in the last three months.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, June 25, 2024, 01:00 AM IST
article-image
Give Details Of Action Taken To Reduce Air Pollution Due To Traffic: HC To Authorities | Pexels

The Bombay High Court has directed the State government and the authorities responsible for traffic management to provide details of action taken to implement recommendations given by an expert committee to reduce air pollution in the city.

The court, on October 31, 2023, had taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the rising air pollution in the city and expressed concern over the “deteriorating” air quality index (AQI). Also a batch of petitions were filed highlighting the issue.

In November last, the HC has formed a committee comprising an Expert in the field  of environment specially in air pollution, an Expert on air pollution from IIT and a Retired principal secretary. The committee had submitted its report giving suggestions to help reduce the air pollution. 

During the hearing last week, amicus curiae (friend of court) Darius Khambatta, pointed out that the expert committee recommendations relating to traffic needs to be implemented. 

One of the traffic related recommendations was asking respective planning authorities to explore the option of tolls without barriers on similar lines of ATAL setu. “Tender condition of the toll operators regarding the maximum length of traffic at the tolls to exempt from the toll, can be checked. Issue directions to MMRDC for the implementation of this recommendation,” the report read. 

It also suggested identifying “points of traffic congestion” in Mumbai city and MMR and “implement suitable steps for addressing the issue”.

“We, thus, call upon the authorities responsible for traffic management to file an affidavit giving details of the action taken to implement the said recommendations,” a bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Girish Kulkarni said on June 20. The detailed order was uploaded on the official HC website on Monday late evening. 

In March, the HC asked Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to conduct an audit of all the industries in the state, starting with industries in the red category. 

A detailed affidavit was filed by MPCB stating that it has completed an audit of 191 industries in the red category in the last three months. 

The MPCB had stated in March it is short staffed and would be recruiting 1,310 staff, however, the proposal needs to be sanctioned by the government. Last week, the court was informed that the matter is still pending with the government. State advocate Jyoti Pawar said that the government is likely to take the final decision on the said proposal within a month. 

The HC has asked the government to decide within a month, considering the fact that the problem of paucity of staff by MPCB “is hampering the steps for taking up various measures for mitigating the air pollution; conducting pollution audit is only one of such measures”.

The HC has kept the matter for further hearing on July 26.  

RECENT STORIES

Mira-Bhayandar: Senior MBMC Officer Files FIR Over Online Harassment Amid Demolition Drive

Mira-Bhayandar: Senior MBMC Officer Files FIR Over Online Harassment Amid Demolition Drive

Bombay HC Orders Non-Consenting Housing Society Members To Vacate In 2-Weeks Or Pay ₹5 Lakh Fine...

Bombay HC Orders Non-Consenting Housing Society Members To Vacate In 2-Weeks Or Pay ₹5 Lakh Fine...

Maharashtra: Govt Announces Financial Aid Of ₹50 Lakh Each For 6 Athletes Selected For Paris...

Maharashtra: Govt Announces Financial Aid Of ₹50 Lakh Each For 6 Athletes Selected For Paris...

Maharashtra: VBA To Launch 'Aarakshan Bachao Janyatra' On Reservation Issues Starting July 25

Maharashtra: VBA To Launch 'Aarakshan Bachao Janyatra' On Reservation Issues Starting July 25

Mumbai: Tax Consultant Accused Of Money Laundering In ₹263 Crore TDS Refund Scam Involving IT...

Mumbai: Tax Consultant Accused Of Money Laundering In ₹263 Crore TDS Refund Scam Involving IT...