Green tribunal questions permitting traffic on all Shimla roads

National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Himachal Pradesh government to explore the possibility of introducing CNG vehicles in the state capital so as to keep the environs clean of vehicular pollutants.

Shimla traffic woes
Shimla traffic woes

Taking a stern view of vehicular traffic encroaching upon all pedestrian spaces the NGT bench of Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice UD Salvi which held a hearing here at the HP High Court two days ago asked  “The state government shall clearly put forward its stand as to why traffic is being permitted on every road in Shimla, resulting in air and noise pollution.”

 “Why all vehicles or even limited number of vehicles are being allowed to ply on each and every road right up to the telegraph office (located on the Ridge) on the one hand and the Regal building on the other, quizzed the green judges?

“If at all, traffic is to be permitted on other roads leading up to the restricted areas, introduction of CNG vehicles may be explored.”

The circuit bench also questioned as to “Why due notification, covering all the hospitals, schools, universities, dispensaries, institutional areas, etc. situated in the entire state as silent zones specifying that no noise or air pollution should be caused, particularly within 100m of such institutional areas, is not being issued?”

Pulling up the state pollution control board for the laxity in monitoring ambient air quality, the bench asked the board to present a report on 17 September, the next hearing date in the case of air samples examined for pollutants from crowed intersection points of the city.

Preserved with by British rulers who laid the foundation of the hill city, over the years the quality of life has deteriorated sharply with crowded cement structures, clogged traffic lanes, deforestation, encroachment of public spaces and parks and water and parking shortages plaguing the city.

Photo: Amit

Mohan Verma is a seasoned journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for news agencies and fast paced online media.

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