The National Green Tribunal on Monday blamed continuous negligence by authorities for high pollution in Delhi, PTI reported.

The green tribunal, led by Justice AK Goel, asked officials from the Delhi government, the Central Pollution Control Board, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the Ministry of Environment and Forests to appear before it at 10.30 am on Tuesday. “The chief secretary, Delhi, chairman, DPCC, member secretary, CPCB and the concerned joint secretary, MoEF&CC may remain present in person.”

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court criticised the state governments of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, and the Centre for the pollution in the national Capital. It ordered an immediate halt to stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, and asked the Delhi government to prove that its odd-even scheme for vehicles had reduced pollution. The court also ordered all construction activities in Delhi and the National Capital Region to be stopped.

The green tribunal said there was an urgent need to address gaps in existing enforcement strategies. “Today’s situation is not creation of one day,” it added. The quasi-judicial body criticised the apathy of statutory authorities. “There is need to ascertain why there is failure and what should be the preventive strategies and remedial measures to ensure that present situation does not recur in future,” it added.

Air pollution in Delhi and surrounding towns plummeted to the season’s worst level on Sunday. On Friday, authorities had declared a public health emergency, and closed schools and banned all construction activities till November 5.

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