NGT notice to Centre on air pollution caused by ships


A plea alleging rising air pollution by diesel-run ships in the Indian territorial waters yesterday prompted the National Green Tribunal to seek replies from the Centre and others.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the ministries of Environment and Shipping, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Directorate General of Shipping seeking their replies before August 17, the next date of hearing.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by lawyer Shibani Ghosh seeking directions to monitor the pollution caused by ships and vessels entering the Indian maritime coastal waters and submit a report to the NGT.

The plea claimed that the ships were responsible for emitting a "significant amount of air pollutants into the atmosphere" by burning fuel while sailing or waiting in the the docks.

"A survey was carried out to establish average fuel consumption. Fishing vessels consume about 20 litres of diesel per day and other vessels consume about 60-70 litres per day," it said.

The air pollution caused by ships has severe impact on the ambient air quality of the coastal areas as they emit pollutants like particulate matter, sulphur oxides or nitrogen oxides which contribute to global air pollution as well, the petition said.