The National Green Tribunal (NGT)
The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues.
- It draws inspiration from the India's constitutional provision of (Constitution of India/Part III) Article 21 Protection of life and personal liberty, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
- Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) is a department to control pollution in Delhi.
- NGT directed that there would be a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers between November 10 and 30 in all cities and towns across the country, where the average ambient air quality in November fell under the ‘poor’ and above category.
- NGT also directed that in places where ambient air quality fell under the ‘moderate’ or below category, only green crackers would be permitted for sale and timings for bursting them would be restricted to two hours.
- The panel specified that data from November 2019 would be used to ascertain the average ambient air quality for both the instances.
- The Tribunal, in its order, noted that several States, such as Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Delhi and Chandigarh, and many others had prohibited the sale and use of firecrackers to protect vulnerable groups.
NGT order names Bengaluru among ‘non-attainment’ cities
- Bengaluru, Kalaburagi, Davangere, and Hubballi-Dharwad are cities and towns in the State that have been deemed as “non-attainment cities” by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
- Such cities are defined as ones where the air quality, as per the records maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), is polluted beyond the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
- The Air Quality Index (AQI) is identified through graded measures in six ranges and categories: 0-50 is good; 51-100 is satisfactory; 101-200 is moderate; 201-300 is poor; 301-400 is very poor; and above 401 is severe.
An expert working in the field of air quality said there were two methods of measuring AQI. One is through the Manual Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations, where data is obtained frequently, and the other is through the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations, where data is obtained on real-time basis. Hence, the measures might not be the same in both.