NGT summons Delhi govt official on action plan on climate change

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has summoned an official of the Environment Department in Delhi to explain the proposed amendments made by the AAP government in the State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC).

A bench headed by Raghuvendra S Rathore and expert member Satyawan Singh Garbyal directed the Deputy Secretary or concerned senior scientist of the department to appear before it on October 25.

“A draft Action Plan was prepared in the month of September, 2016. However, the Counsel for Delhi was unable to give any update in respect of the proposed amendments to be made in the Action Plan,” said the bench.

“Therefore, in order to apprise us with the update which is proposed by the state government, we direct the Deputy Secretary/concerning senior scientist of the Environment Department of NCT Delhi to appear before the Tribunal on the next date of hearing with complete information and the proposed amendments in the said Action Plan of Climate Change, the one finalised so far,” it added.

The order was passed after the environment department informed the tribunal that it has decided to make certain amendments to the SAPCC.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had earlier told the tribunal that it has repeatedly asked the Delhi Government to expedite and submit the SAPCC but nothing has been done.

The ministry informed the tribunal that since January 2010, it has asked the Delhi government thrice to submit SAPCC but nothing has been done and sought direction to the AAP government to submit the plan.

The tribunal was hearing a petition by scientist Mahendra Pandey seeking direction to draft, finalise and implement the SAPCC on the lines and the spirit of the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).

The plea had also sought directions to Arvind Kejriwal government to place on record relevant material and documents relating to steps taken by it in order to implement Action Plan on Climate Change.

Pandey, in his plea filed through advocate Gaurav Bansal, had contended that the national capital was facing a number of environmental issues due to ill-effects of climate change.

NAPCC is a comprehensive action plan which outlines measures on climate change related adaptation and mitigation while simultaneously advancing development.

The government of NCT of Delhi had earlier claimed that it formulated a Climate Change Agenda for the national capital in 2009.

However, the Agenda expired in 2012 and since then Delhi has no Action Plan on Climate Change, the plea alleged.

The former scientist, in the plea has claimed that Delhi has no SAPCC after which the NGT had sought response of the Centre and Delhi government on the issue.

He has contended that Delhi generated around 800 million tonnes of garbage daily and the same was dumped as it is on three main landfill sites of national capital which have completed their life.

“By continuously dumping of large quantity of solid waste, the respondents are compromising with the air quality which ultimately is contributing to climate change…

“As per the report of IIT Kanpur, the petitioner has learnt that the domestic cooking, road dust, waste burning, diesel generators etc are releasing PM2.5, PM10 etc in the atmosphere and as such are major contributors to the climate change,” the plea has said.

The NGT had in 2015 directed all states and Union Territories to “expeditiously” prepare their action plans on climate change in accordance with the Centre’s guidelines and get them approved by the Environment Ministry.

Source: PTI