On November 24, the AQI in Delhi was 'severe' while it was 'very poor' on most days.

New Delhi:

The National Green Tribunal has directed various states to "make further efforts" to improve the air quality and "fully utilise" the funds received under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) and the 15th Finance Commission. The tribunal passed the order on December <> and directed the concerned states to file further action taken reports within eight weeks.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Prakash Srivastava noted the deteriorating air quality in various cities in Bihar (Patna, Purnea and Rajgir), Uttar Pradesh (Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida), Punjab (Bathinda), Haryana (Faridabad, Manesar, Rohtak and Bhiwadi), Rajasthan (Tonk) and Meghalaya (Byrnihat) from November 22 to December <>.

A bench of Justice Srivastava, Judicial Member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Expert Member A Senthil Vel said the AQI in some cities was "severe" and "very poor", while in some others it oscillated between "moderate" to "severe", "poor" and "very poor".

The bench said that while Delhi's AQI was "severe" on November 24, it was "very poor" on most days. It said that after the end of the stubble burning season in Punjab, the air quality in cities has improved.

Last month, the NGT had taken cognisance of an online air quality bulletin of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and asked chief secretaries of states where air quality had deteriorated or deteriorated to 'severe', 'very poor' and 'poor' categories "to take all possible steps for immediate improvement".

In its hearing on December 15 while taking note of various reports filed by the state administrations, the tribunal had said that most of the states have not "fully utilised" the funds received under the National Clean Air Programme and the <>th Finance Programme.

It said only a handful of states utilised the money for setting up AQI monitoring stations, while in some others the money was spent for purposes that had "no direct connection" with the improvement in air quality. The NGT bench said the states need to use these funds promptly for specific purposes.

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