The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday ordered West Bengal to pay a fine of Rs 5 crore for failing to comply with its two-year-old directive to improve air quality in Kolkata and Howrah, PTI reported. The tribunal ordered the state government to pay the fine within two weeks to the Central Pollution Control Board.
The tribunal’s Eastern Zone principal bench comprising Judge SP Wangdi and non-judicial member Nagin Nanda said the state will have to pay an additional Rs 1-crore per month if it fails to pay the fine within the stipulated time.
The 2016 directives mandated restricting the number of polluting diesel vehicles in Kolkata and Howrah using a remote sensing device to monitor smoke emission from vehicles? and increasing the number of computerised air monitoring stations.
The tribunal had also suggested the introduction of the odd-even road rationing system, similar to the one implemented by the Delhi government in 2016. The system allows private vehicles with odd and even registration numbers to ply on alternate days.
The 2016 directives were issued on the basis of a report submitted by an expert committee. The tribunal ordered the fine after environmentalist Subhas Datta moved a contempt plea against the state government.
The bench asked the state’s chief secretary to file an affidavit by January 8, 2019, detailing its plan of action and payment of fine.