NEW DELHI: Amid growing concerns over air pollution, the National Green Tribunal has rapped the four Northern states for the failure in submitting action plans to prevent pollution from residue crop burning after every harvesting cycle.
The NGT bench, headed by justice Swatenter Kumar warned the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab, that failure in doing so might leave the body with no other option but to order attachment of their treasury accounts.
"Despite our judgement and subsequent orders, the state governments have failed to comply with the directions and take preventive precautionary and controlling measures for air pollution resulting from crop residue burning.
The NGT had earlier fixed the environment penalty amounts per incident of crop burning to be paid by small land owners having less than two acres of land at Rs 2,500, medium land owners holding over two acres and less than five acres at Rs 5,000 and those owning over five acres at Rs 15,000.
"We grant last and final opportunity requiring them, at least, to file action plans with complete accountability and elements of performance, within one week... (If) compliance is not made, we will be compelled to attach the treasury account of the states concerned," said B S Sajwan, expert member of the bench.
Every year during winters the national capital is engulfed in a dense blanket of smog and burning the remains after a harvesting period was a major contributor to the problem. Hence the green panel had ordered the states prohibiting agriculture crop residue burning.