Aircraft Pollution - fleecing of citizens

Apex Court while pronouncing Judgment dated 29th March 2019 p in WP (C) No. 12551 of 2018 between Hanuma Laxman Aroskar vs. Union of India and WP (C) No. 1053 of 2019 between Federation of Rainbow Warriors vs Union of India recorded the following facts that were never placed in Public domain

Guidance manual for airports

65. In February 2010, the MoEF brought out its Guidance manual for airports. The need for a sector specific manual arose because the 2006 notification “re-engineered the entire EC process” under its earlier avatar of 1994 and new sectors were incorporated into the ambit of the EC process. The 2006 notification noted that as many as 39 developmental sectors require prior ECs. Sector specific manuals, it was hoped, would bring about standardisation in the quality of appraisal and obviate potential inconsistencies between the work performed by SEIAAs and SEACs. Chapter IV of the Guidance manual, which is titled ‘Description of Environment’, prescribes the study area for carrying out an EIA:

“Primary data through measurements and field surveys; and secondary data from secondary sources are to be collected in the study area within 10 km radius from Aerodrome Reference Point (ARP). Primary data should cover one season other than monsoon and secondary data is to cover one full year. The basis for selection of these criteria is that the aircraft gains a height of 1000 ft in this area below which noise and air pollution are generated maximum during its take off stage. Secondary data should be collected within 15 km aerial distance for the parameters as specifically mentioned at column 9(III) of Form I of EIA Notification, 2006. Details of secondary data, the method of collection of secondary data, should be furnished. Similarly, the proposed locations of monitoring stations of water, air, soil and noise etc. should be shown on the study area map.”

66. Baseline data of environmental parameters which may be affected by airport activities is collected through primary monitoring in the study area and through secondary sources. The baseline data facilitates the evaluation of the predicted impact on environmental attributes in the study area by using scientific analysis and EIA methodologies. The object is to also aid in the preparation of an EMP that would outline measures for improving environmental quality as well as retain the scope for future expansions in a sustainable manner. The Guidance manual specifically requires collection of baseline data on the following: (i) land environment; (ii) water environment; (iii) air environment; (iv) noise environment; (v) biological environment; (iv) socio-economic environment and (vii) solid waste.

69. On the aspect of air environment, the Guidance manual emphasises that:

Aircraft engines produce emissions that are similar to other emissions resulting from any oil-based fuel combustion. These, like any exhaust emissions, can affect local air quality at ground level. It is emissions from aircraft below 1,000 ft, above the ground (typically around 3km from departure or, for arrivals, around 6km from touchdown) that are chiefly involved in influencing local air quality. These emissions disperse with the wind and blend with emissions from other sources such as emissions from domestic sources, emissions from industries and from surface transport.”

70. Local emissions attributed to aircraft operations at airports include Oxides of Nitrogen , Carbon Monoxide , Hydrocarbons, Sulphur Dioxide, and particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5).

All these facts were never placed by any of the authority before High Court of Delhi in my PIL WP(C) 9337/2009 before High Court of Delhi. This fact was also not placed before NGT by any of the Statutory Authority. All the Authorities including Committee Constituted by Parliamentarians have never placed this fact before the Citizens. Every Authority has blamed diesel cars and petrol cars without even assuring quality of fuel being supplied. Thus, the common citizen a tax payer has been fleeced all along by the Government agencies with impunity.

Thus, each taxpayer is being made to suffer for making balance sheet of airlines healthy without disclosing these facts and making them sick without any fault on their part. Who is responsible for fleecing tax payers and why??? For whose benefit??????

On filing application for Execution of Order before NGT an has  Order has been passed by NGT directing both the Airport Operator and the Airport Authority of India to place before it the Action Taken in terms of pollution caused by Airport operations .

Now, the MOEF & CC has granted Environmental Clearance for 4th Runway also at IGI while each one of the Authority – MOEF & CC, CPCB, DPCC, DGCA and Airport Authority of India has admitted that it does nor either possess the data on pollution or has not placed in place any system assessing pollution caused by gaseous emissions by Aircrafts.

Thus, the concept of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance has suffered a serious set back.