He National Green Court (NGT) has constituted a joint committee of seven members to verify facts related to the air pollution around the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, endangering the health of patients and indoor doctors and OPDs and other AIIMS staff.
The bench headed by Judge Adarsh Kumar Goel in an order passed on March 17, 2023 stated: “We are satisfied that the matter needs consideration. The facts must be verified by a committee of independent experts to consider a further order.” .
“Accordingly, we constitute a joint Committee of seven members which will be headed by the Member Secretary, CPCB with other members being DCP (Traffic), Area DFO, MCD, DPCC and Director-AIIMS or his designee and a designee from Vardhman Mahavir Medical College & Hospital Safdarjung,” the Court said.
“The Committee may consider the noted complaints, including the state of traffic/parking and deliberate on the plan of mitigation measures to control the air pollution in the area, such as traffic regulation, switch to battery-powered vehicles in specific areas, no-vehicle zones, elimination of encroachments and street vendors, dense plantings, noise and dust control measures in strategic locations, sprinkler of water etc .
The Court noted: “This application by Gaurav Sharma is against the alleged lack of control by the legal and administrative authorities the air pollution around AIIMS, Delhi”.
The court further noted: “A large number of street vendors, merchants and vehicles are causing pollution and obstructing the emergency movement of ambulances. Residents or commercial activities encroach on the sidewalks. There is no adequate green belt needed to absorb the dust and carbon dioxide generated. From the point of view of maintaining air quality within prescribed limits, adequate measures are not taken to scientifically manage garbage and biomedical waste.”
The Court noted that AIIMS is an institution of excellence with multi-specialty treatment facilities where daily passage has increased to 65,000 people and vehicle passage has increased to 7,500 per day. Even healthy people visiting such an environment can be affected by disease due to air pollution, plus treating patients becomes more difficult.
“The applicant has attached photographs of invasions and articles on the adverse impact of air pollution. In addition, according to data from three AAQ monitoring stations near AIIMS in the month of November, December is in the ‘Severe’ category,” said the court.
“The chart giving specific readings at Siri Fort, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and RK Puram AAQ monitoring stations was submitted in the application,” the court noted.
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