National Green Tribunal (NGT). , photo credit: file photo
Following a petition that flagged air pollution around the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a seven-member joint committee to assess the situation and file a report.
The order came following an application on Friday which said that the failure of statutory and administrative authorities to control air pollution around AIIMS is putting the health of patients as well as doctors and other staff at risk.
‘Occupy the Sidewalks’
The petition, filed earlier this month by Gaurav Sharma, a local resident, said hawkers, shopkeepers and vehicles cause pollution and obstruct emergency movement of ambulances to the premier medical institution.
“The footpaths of the hospital are being encroached upon by residents or commercial activities.
“There is not enough green belt necessary to absorb the dust and carbon dioxide generated. Measures to handle the waste and bio-medical waste in a scientific manner have not been taken adequately to keep the air quality within the prescribed limits.
The complainant also claimed that AIIMS with multi-specialty treatment facilities has a daily footfall of 7,500 vehicles and 65,000 people.
“Even healthy people exposed to such an environment can get affected by the disease due to air pollution, besides making the treatment of patients even more difficult,” he added.
“We are satisfied that the matter requires consideration. The facts need to be verified by an independent expert committee for considering further orders,” an NGT bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel ordered.
It said the committee will be headed by Member Secretary, CPCB, with other members being DCP (Traffic), Area DFO, MCD, DPCC as well as Director, AIIMS or his nominee and one nominee each from VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital.
“The committee shall be free to co-opt any other expert/institution to assist it and submit its factual report with recommendations or short term and long term measures,” the bench said.
It added that the panel may give its recommendations to rectify the situation and submit its report to this tribunal within a month.
The Green Court also asked the panel to consider the allegations raised including traffic/parking conditions and plan measures to control air pollution in the area, such as regulation of traffic, designated areas for battery operated vehicles No vehicle zones, removal of encroachments and hawkers, dense plantation, noise and dust control measures at critical locations, sprinkling of water etc.