HC takes suo motu cognisance of “deteriorating” AQI in Mumbai, seeks response from authorities

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday expressed concern over the “deteriorating” air quality index (AQI) in Mumbai while taking suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the issue.

A division bench of Chief Justice D K Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor sought a response from the Central and Maharashtra governments, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the matter.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by three city residents raising the issue of poor air quality in Mumbai.

“The air quality index in the city every day is deteriorating like anything…everywhere… not a single area in Mumbai the air quality is better,” Chief Justice Upadhyaya said.

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The court said it wants all the concerned authorities to inform what measures they have taken and what steps they are supposed to have taken under the existing laws.

The court posted the matter for hearing on November 6.

The petitioners Amar Baban Tike, Anand Jha, and Sanjay Surve in their PIL had sought directions to the government and civic authority to curb pollution in the city and to take immediate steps to enhance green cover by undertaking a plantation drive of fast-growing trees and plants in public spaces in the city.

The high level of air pollution is being caused by the reckless construction activity and lack of sufficient green cover in Mumbai and it was adversely affecting residents, especially children, the plea stated.

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