The National Green Tribunal’s principal bench has asked four ministries of the central government to find ways to reduce air pollution in the country’s metro cities to limit its health impact on women and especially children. The interim order, passed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar, was passed while hearing of a petition filed by Dr Sanjay Kulshreshtha on increase in vehicular pollution and its adverse health impacts. Dr.Kulshreshtha, an Agra based surgeon had argued himself before the NGT that the “explosive growth of motorized vehicles…19.5 crores up to March 2014 and addition of 1.5 crores of vehicles every year are adding to pollution of ambient air quality in the entire country and especially in the metro cities. The particulate pollution is affecting the health of fetuses, newborn and children….and they are likely to develop congenital and acquired diseases and thus the number of vehicles should be capped.”

The National Green Tribunal’s principal bench has asked four ministries of the central government to find ways to reduce air pollution in the country’s metro cities to limit its health impact on women and especially children. The interim order, passed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar, was passed while hearing of a petition filed by Dr Sanjay Kulshreshtha on increase in vehicular pollution and its adverse health impacts. Dr.Kulshreshtha, an Agra based surgeon had argued himself before the NGT that the “explosive growth of motorized vehicles…19.5 crores up to March 2014 and addition of 1.5 crores of vehicles every year are adding to pollution of ambient air quality in the entire country and especially in the metro cities. The particulate pollution is affecting the health of fetuses, newborn and children….and they are likely to develop congenital and acquired diseases and thus the number of vehicles should be capped.”The chairperson also observed that “This younger generation of the country would get exposed to serious health hazards caused due to air pollution.” The principal bench in its interim order has asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Transport ministry, Health ministry and Petroleum Ministry to “convene and bring out a workable resolution to ensure controlling of air pollution in the metro cities particularly in Delhi and recommend measures that are required to be taken to prevent its adverse impact on the health of people and on younger children in particular.”The MoEF has been asked to co-ordinate the compliance of the interim order. Since the matter pertained to vehicular pollution and its health impacts in the city of Delhi too, the principal bench has asked to club the petition with another on-going petition on Delhi’s pollution woes, filed by Vardhaman Kaushik. It was hearing this matter, that the principal bench passed the order to ban those vehicles from Delhi’s roads that are 15 years or older.In addition to the directions issued to central government ministries, the NGT bench has also asked for notices to be issued “to the metro cities of the country i.e Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Allahabad, Hyderabad and Agra through the chief secretaries of the respective states.”

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NGT asks four central ministries to reduce vehicular pollution in metros