NGT directs Northern Railways to construct warehouse on platforms for handling of cement bags

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has directed the Northern Railways to construct warehouse on platforms for the handling of cement bags so as to minimise air pollution due to loading and unloading of cement.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel also asked the Northern Railways to furnish its action plan to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and take steps to seek consent as per law.

'The CPCB and the DPCC may further monitor compliance of environmental norms in exercise of their statutory powers, following due process of law,' it said.

The green panel also junked the plea of Northern Railways seeking setting aside of the order of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) imposing a fine of Rs 71.62 lakh for failing to stop pollution.

The tribunal said there is no merit in the application as compensation was required to be imposed for violation of the environmental norms on polluter pays principle.

'The amount of compensation may be spent for restoration of the environment, in coordination with the Northern Railways,' the bench said.

Earlier, a committee had told the tribunal in its report that Northern Railway has not taken proper action for implementing pollution control measures and health test of workers involved in loading and unloading of cement.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by city resident Anubhav Kumar claiming air pollution in and around the areas of Rani Bagh, Shakurbasti, Raja Park, Punjabi Bagh, Srinagar, Madipur near the Shakurbasti railway station on account of the unscientific manner of loading and unloading of cement.

According to the applicant, this causes severe air pollution and affects the health of the people. 'In spite of the fact that several representations have been made, the railway official is not doing anything in this regard,' the plea said.

The applicant had also produced photographs to show that cement is being stalked in an open area without any cover and dust is emanating from that causing serious air pollution in the area. PTI PKS RKS RKS