Psychological aspect of air pollution in Delhi needs examination: NGT

 The National Green Tribunal has said the “psychological aspect” of the dip in the air quality in the national capital required to be examined and sought replies from government authorities, including the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the director of AIIMS.

The smoky haze shrouding the national capital thickened on Thursday as the Air Quality Index (AQI) in many areas breached the 400-mark to enter the severe category.

A bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava said, “Adequate measures are required for control of air polluting components and their adverse effect on various organs of human body, especially those which are affecting the brain and emotional, psychological aspect.”

The bench, also comprising judicial member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A Senthil Vel, noted that the tribunal had on October 20, after taking cognisance of a media report, taken up the larger issue related to air pollution in Delhi.

However, the “specific issue” regarding the impact on various body parts, including the brain, needed to be examined separately, the bench said.

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It said the overall issue of various chemical and physical components causing air pollution and adverse effect of each of those components on different organs of human body required to be looked into.

The green panel issued notice to the secretary of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Secretary, Delhi government’s Health Ministry.

“The reply be filed by the said respondents on or before the next date of hearing (December 11),” the tribunal said in an order passed on Tuesday.

The NGT was hearing the matter where it had taken cognisance of another newspaper report which said long-term exposure to air pollution could lead to a higher risk of depression and anxiety besides respiratory disorders.

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