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Air Pollution & Depression: NGT Imposes Rs 25k Cost On MoEF&CC For Unclear Response On Steps Taken

The Tribunal observed that despite repeated queries, counsel for MoEF&CC could not enlist a single step taken by the Ministry for effective control of air pollution 


The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has been fined Rs 25,000 by the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) major bench in New Delhi for failing to provide specific, actionable plans to reduce air pollution. The MoEF&CC counsel admitted that the Ministry’s response lacked clarity, which resulted in the imposition of costs for an imprecise and irrelevant response, according to the bench, which is made up of Justice Sudhir Agarwal and  A. Senthil Vel.


On the basis of an article titled “Are you feeling nervous? The Times of India, 10 October , 2023, released an article titled “Toxic air could be to blame.” The paper emphasised the possible consequences of extended exposure to air pollution, including respiratory diseases, anxiety and depression. The NGT acknowledged that emotional brain activities may be affected by air pollution, which could lead to mental health problems.


The tribunal noted in October that more research was necessary to determine the physical and chemical factors contributing to air pollution as well as how these factors affect various organs. Although there were discussions about Delhi’s general air pollution problems, further investigation was necessary into the particular concerns raised in this instance. Involved in the proceedings were six respondents: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and MoEF&CC.


The NGT observed that although CPCB acknowledged the existence of metals and other contaminants that cause air pollution, they did not take appropriate action. The tribunal also called attention to the misappropriation of environmental compensation monies that were deposited with CPCB, highlighting the substantial financial irregularity of the abuse and requesting full details. The bench gave CPCB one month to respond and make sure the money marked “Environmental Compensation” wasn’t stolen.


With a focus on the need for clarity and practical steps in resolving air pollution problems, the NGT set a follow-up hearing for 14 February , 2024.

Air Pollution & Depression: NGT Imposes Rs 25k Cost On MoEF&CC For Unclear Response On Steps Taken

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