The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Central Pollution Control Board to prosecute government officials who have not acted on around 250 citizens’ complaints. “Why don’t you prosecute these officials?” a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked, according to PTI. “You should prosecute them. Let these people realise what they have done.”
The court’s observation came on a day when Delhi’s air quality was in the “very poor” category, with the Air Quality Index recorded at 320, NDTV reported.
Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, who represented the board, said it received 749 complaints between November 1 and 22 on social media, and took action on around 500 complaints. These complaints, Nadkarni said, were handled during the board’s “clean air campaign” from November 1 to 10, on November 13 and November 20. “The remaining 249 complaints have been assigned to respective nodal agencies and are in the process of getting resolved,” the board’s affidavit said.
The board said it had opened accounts on Facebook and Twitter on October 29, and set up a separate cell for managing citizen’s complaints received on its website, on social media and through email. However, the board added that complaints on social media must be resolved by nodal agencies.
The affidavit said these nodal agencies must create their own social media accounts, which follow the pollution control board’s account, so the complaints can be forwarded. The board said it had sent an email to the nodal agencies on October 31 asking them to open social media accounts and held four review meetings in November. The board said that as on November 24, 18 nodal agencies had provided their social media accounts.
The affidavit also said that the analysis of complaints showed that the highest number of air pollution incidents related to construction and demolition activities, followed by burning of waste, road dust, unpaved roads, traffic congestion and industrial emissions.