<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aggrieved by the poor air quality due to industries and lack of green cover that is affecting their health, six teenagers from Mundka-Kirari suburbs in West Delhi have moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to seek an increase in green cover and to oppose proposed expansion of industrial activity. The six teenagers — aged between 12 and 16 years — attend schools in the Mundka-Kirari industrial belt and their petition was admitted by the Tribunal last week.The industrial belt in question is spread across eleven municipal wards of Mundka, Nangloi Jat West, Nilothi, Pratap Vihar, Nithari, Kirari Suleman Nagar, Prem Nagar, Sultanpur Majra, Sultanpuri South, Pooth Kalan and Nangloi East. The petition claimed that pollution emitted from industries in this belt is severely affecting the health of “more than 1 lakh children studying in these schools,” and that several students are suffering from breathing problems, especially during winters.Quoting results from the Centre for Science and Environment pollution test of the area, the petition said that PM 2.5 level for 24 hour average was found to be 556 µg/m3, which was 3.8 times higher than rest of Delhi. The petitioners point out that even as the area is already facing poor air quality, the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation has proposed to use 147 acres of vacant land for more industrial activity.“Of the 4,626 acres of land in 11 municipal wards, a mere 1 per cent is green whereas 1,400 acres or more than 30 per cent is an industrial area, 62 per cent is a residential area and rest is commercial area. As the area is already highly polluted… it is submitted that no further development of industries should be permitted in the area until existing pollution levels are brought down to permissible levels,” the petitioners prayed.Local residents also approached the Delhi Chief Minister’s office and the Delhi Development Authority with 5,000 signatures to convert the 147 acres into a biodiversity park, the petition claimed. Dewan Singh, a member of the Mundka Kirari Harit Abhiyan, Spoke to DNA said, “There are more than 50 schools in this area and whenever children go out for recreation, they are affected by the industrial pollution.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An Aam Aadmi Party MLA,on Saturday, claimed that he was detained for trying to conduct puja at a heritage site along the Yamuna river bank, even as the police said the legislator was only called for a “discussion”.According to Kirari MLA Rituraj Govind, he was trying to build a ghat at Nithari talaab near the expressway on the occasion of Chhat puja along the river bank in his constituency. His move was objected to by the local villagers even as he said that the construction of the ghat was funded by the Delhi government. However, the police said CrPC section 144 (prohibiting assembly of more than four people) was imposed in the ghat area, which is a heritage property, since this morning in view of the Chhat puja and the MLA had allegedly violated the order. The prohibitory order will remain in place till November 7, they said.The MLA alleged that there was minor stone-pelting by a group of villagers, which was led by a local BJP activist. “I have been detained for over three hours now,” the MLA said from Aman Vihar police station. The police insisted it was a discussion and neither was the MLA detained nor arrested. “He was trying to build a ghat at a heritage property which is not permitted by law. The locals are also against using the heritage property for Chhath Puja. “He arrived there today and there was tension in the area. We were present at the site and eased the situation.The MLA is there in the Aman Vihar police station because we are trying to explain to him that it is against the provision of law to use the heritage property for Chhath puja,” said a senior police officer.