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NGT forms panel to suggest steps to check pollution near AIIMS-Delhi

New Delhi: National Green Tribunal has constituted a seven-member committee to submit a factual report with recommendations on short-term and long-term measures to control air pollution around All India Institute of Medical Sciences within a month.

The committee will be headed by member secretary, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), with other members being DCP (traffic), area DFO, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and director, AIIMS, or his nominee, and a nominee of Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital.

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A plea was filed in NGT against the “failure of the statutory and administrative authorities to control air pollution around AIIMS, jeopardizing the health of the indoor and OPD patients” and doctors and other staff.

“A large number of hawkers, shopkeepers and vehicles are causing pollution and obstructing emergency movement of ambulances. Pavements are encroached by residence or commercial activities. There is no adequate green belt necessary to absorb dust and carbon dioxide generated. With a view to keep air quality within prescribed limits, measures to scientifically handle garbage and bio-medical waste are not adequately taken,” the plea filed in the tribunal stated.

Noting that the matter needs consideration, the bench led by NGT chairperson, AK Goel, observed that the facts need to be verified by an independent expert committee to consider further order.

“The committee may consider the allegations noted, including traffic/parking status and deliberate upon plan for mitigation measures to control air pollution in the area such as regulation of traffic, shifting to battery operated vehicles in specified areas, no vehicle zones, removal of encroachments and hawkers, dense plantations, noise and dust control measures at strategic locations, water sprinkling etc,” said the tribunal.

The plea stated that AIIMS is an institution of excellence with multi-specialty treatment facilities where the daily footfall has increased to 65,000 while the per day footfall of vehicles has increased to 7,500. The plea claimed that even healthy people visiting such an environment may contract diseases due to air pollution, apart from treatment of patients becoming more difficult.

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