BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh high court on Tuesday directed state and central pollution control boards to explain "Why Gwalior is among one of the top four polluted cities of the world". Gwalior bench of MP high court comprising Justice S K Gangele and Justice Sheel Nagu expressed concern over rising pollution in Gwalior while hearing a PIL filed by social activist and lawyer Awadesh Pratap Singh Bhadauria. 

He claimed local administration has felled hundreds of trees in the name of development but have not carried out any compensatory plantation. "They were supposed to plant five saplings per tree felled, but nothing so far," Bhadauria told TOI. Notices have also been issued to the district collector and commissioner, Gwalior municipal corporation (GMC), senior superintendent of police (SSP) and joint commissioner (garden) over the same issue. All respondents have been asked to submit their reply within four weeks. 

Petitioner had enclosed a copy of TOI's edition dated, May 6, 2014 which revealed Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh capital Raipur among top four cities of the world with the dirtiest air, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) study. Delhi led the pack in this score. Of the 20 cities in the world with dirtiest air, 13 are from India. As per the WHO report Gwalior has more than three times the acceptable particulate matter levels in air. 

The 2013-14 data of the state's pollution control board substantiates WHO's report. Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board, which monitored vehicles across the state, found Gwalior leading other cities in MP with 23% diesel and 6.9% petrol vehicles emitting pollutants above permissible limits. Official records of MPPCB show that around 25,000 vehicles were monitored in last fiscal of which nearly 1,500 were violating norms by emitting pollutants above permissible limits.

Source: Times of India (Dated 10 Dec 2014)