Home / Politics / Policy /  Air pollution: NGT questions lifting of ban on construction by Lt. Governor

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday questioned Delhi lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung’s decision to lift a ban on construction activities in the wake of severe air pollution in the national capital region.

The tribunal was informed that the ban was lifted as the pollution levels in various parts of Delhi had come down during the one-week period that the ban was enforced and because the workers were left unpaid during the period.

NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar held that not paying the construction workers was unfair and that they should be paid without considering the fact that they had not worked for the one week the ban was in place.

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Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) said that it had issued a total of 282 challans for stoppage of construction and had deployed 11 officers at 496 sites during 7-14 November.

The tribunal also questioned the DPCC and Delhi government about what they had done to reduce waste burning.

“How many challans have been issued for burning of waste and garbage? What action has been initiated by you to prevent a fire in the recent times?," Kumar asked.

The tribunal sought a response from DPCC and Delhi government over the waste burning issue and also directed the states of Haryana (including Gurgaon, Faridabad), parts of Uttar Pradesh (including Noida and Ghaziabad) to submit a report on air quality over the last few days by Thursday.

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On 8 November, the tribunal had banned all construction activity and shut down stone-crushing units and brick kilns for a week in the national capital region. The ban was lifted on orders by the Lt. Governor on 15 November.

Delhi has been suffering from “severe" air pollution since 30 October, the Diwali day, with the state coming under a thick blanket of smog for several days.

The court will continue to hear the matter on Thursday.

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