The court has given a stern message to authorities and set a higher benchmark for enforcement of measures to prevent air pollution measures, the non-profit said
An ancient building in Hauz Khas village enveloped in smog. Credit: Getty Images
Delhi-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has welcomed the Supreme Court’s reprimand of the Centre and civic agencies for lack of action in pollution-related complaints.
"Prosecute the local agencies. Send them to jail. That is the only option left," the court had said.
“The Supreme Court has a set a higher benchmark for enforcement. Observations by the apex court indicate that even local agencies such as municipalities could be made legally accountable for not taking action on a compliant. The court has given a stern message to the authorities to take the deterioration in the city’s air quality seriously,” says Vivek Chattopadhyay, Senior Programme Manager, Clean Air Programme, CSE.
“The mediocrity and non-accountability and not taking action on complaints is often blamed for many instances of law violation, including garbage burning, a polluting industrial unit near homes or a polluting vehicle being spotted on road. No action against polluters frustrates people. Apps and social media handles have become a popular grievance reporting system which has made it transparent to find out whether or not action has been taken on a complaint. Inaction can no longer be hidden,” he added.
On November 26, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Centre and civic agencies for lack of action in pollution-related complaints. The court said that the local agencies—the municipalities—had failed to address the grievances of the citizens and lax officials should be put behind bars.
The court was responding to the Centre’s statement that 749 pollution complaints were received through social media and over 3,000 through the "Sameer" app, a mobile application launched by the Central Pollution Control Board or CPCB to enable people in Delhi to register their complaints, between November 1 and 24.
Some complaints have been dealt with, but others are pending because they have to be addressed by local agencies, the centre said.
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