The Supreme Court on Tuesday imposed a fine of Rs two lakh on the environment ministry for not fixing emission norms of Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide for 34 categories of industries — important to mitigate air pollution in Delhi and the NCR.
The emission norms are significant as these industries, engaged in producing fertilisers, nitric acid and other hazardous activities, use pet coke and furnace oil.
Describing the Ministry of Environment and Forests’s delay in issuing the norms as “lethargic and lazy”, the bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta took exception to the Ministry issuing draft norms on October 23.
The court said that failure to pay Rs two lakh would invite serious consequences.
The court expressed its “surprise” that the ministry was sitting on the recommendations of the Central Pollution Control Board made on June 27 this year. The draft norms issued on October 23 provide for 60 days for the public to raise objections.
Thereafter, the Ministry will examine the objections before taking the final call on fixing the emission norms and it may not be before February 2018.