NGT forms panel to improve environment around Delhi AIIMS

The NGT was hearing a petition claiming failure of the authorities concerned to control air pollution in and around premier healthcare institutions.
National Green Tribunal (Photo | PTI)
National Green Tribunal (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI:   The National Green Tribunal has formed an eight-member panel to make a plan for monitoring ambient air quality in and around the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. The NGT was hearing a petition claiming failure of the authorities concerned to control air pollution in and around premier healthcare institutions, including AIIMS Delhi, to the detriment of the health of patients, their attendants, doctors and staff.  

It asked the panel consisting of pollution board and other civic authorities to make the plan within this month, saying if it exceeds the laid down parameters within 500 meters of AIIMS, regulatory measures be taken as per Graded Response Action Plan. The committee was also asked to look into traffic congestion, removing encroachments, congestion at gates, speeding of vehicles, improving road conditions and control of dust and other pollution sources near the campus.

The tribunal headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel observed that there are identical issues in several other government hospitals, including Safdarjung Hospital. Accordingly, the tribunal constituted another five-member joint committee headed by Secretary, Ministry of Health and said that it can interact with stakeholders and obtain data on the status of the availability of environment management plans covering sources of pollution in and around all government district hospitals or larger than district hospitals, including medical colleges.

With regard to measures inside AIIMS campus, such as plantations, waste management, regulation of footfall of visitors and other attendants of patients, squatting, nature of vehicles, management of patient services, parking issues, providing shuttle service, landscaping, involvement of voluntary organizations or individuals, preparation of environment management/action plan, responsibility will be of the Director AIIMS in coordination with departments concerned.

In the order, the NGT said that prohibited and regulated activities need to be identified, saying it’s a part of right of citizens to clean environment and sustainable development principle. “This is also part of fundamental duty under Article 51 A of the Constitution and obligation of the State under Article 48A,” it stated.  AIIMS told the tribunal that it is now being redeveloped for enhancing patient care and advancing research for which a master plan has been prepared to accommodate future needs and ease of maintenance.

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