Reining in pollution not just SC's responsibility: ASSOCHAM
New Delhi, Oct 21: Industry body Assocham on Saturday said clean environment should be a combined responsibility of the Centre, state governments, civil society and public at large, and not of the Supreme Court alone.
The industry body said enforcement of the Supreme court order banning sale of firecrackers should have been ensured by the Union Environment Ministry, Delhi government, the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in the entire NCR.
Air pollution in the capital soared to alarming levels on Diwali night, reaching as much as five times over the safe limit because of the bursting of firecrackers despite a Supreme Court ban on their sale in the NCR, said a survey.
"The economic interest of the traders and the manufacturers was involved but once the Supreme Court banned sale of firecrackers, the enforcement of the order should have been ensured by the Union Environment Ministry, Delhi Government, state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in the entire NCR," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
Stating that the air pollution in the NCR was 18 times more than the limit allowed, Assocham said though there was a voluntary compliance in the select areas, the ban was largely defied through the sale of firecrackers on the sly inside the localities.
"The levels of PM 2.5 had risen, though there was a consolation of slightly less damage," the chamber said.
It further said there is a need for a well-coordinated action plan to control the air pollution not only during Diwali but throughout the year. The entire government machinery should prepare an action plan in consultation with the civil society, traders, crackers manufacturers, Assocham said, adding that this action plan should be presented before the apex court along with the National Green Tribunal.