NGT slaps 5 cr fine on West Bengal govt

NGT slaps 5 cr fine on West Bengal govt

The order was given in the wake of West Bengal government not enforcing several measures recommended by the NGT in an earlier order in 2016 to check air pollution, the bench observed. AFP Photo 

The National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine of Rs 5 crore on the West Bengal government for non-compliance of its 2016 order to improve the air quality in Kolkata and Howrah.

The NGT has directed the state government to pay the amount to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within two weeks. The penalty was imposed after a contempt petition was filed by noted environmentalist Subhas Dutta. NGT’s 2016 order was also prompted by a petition filed by Dutta.

“If the state government fails to pay the fine within the stipulated time, it will have to pay a monthly additional penalty of Rs1 crore,” Dutta told DH.

During the hearing, NGT also instructed the state’s Chief Secretary to file an affidavit regarding the government’s compliance with its latest order and payment of fine, by January 8, 2019.

In its 2016 order, NGT recommended restrictions on the entry of vehicles of Bharat Stage III specifications into Kolkata and Howrah, besides limiting diesel vehicles which are highly polluting.
Remote sensing

“In order to ensure strict monitoring and to enforce compliance with the regulation, the Department of Transport in collaboration with State Police shall ensure that such vehicles (Bharat Stage III) enter the cities only on production of PUC certificates and on payment of prescribed entry fee,” stated the 2016 NGT order.

NGT also recommended use of remote sensing devices to monitor vehicular emission and a system of allowing private vehicles with odd and even registration number on specific days in a week.