Noida (UP), Dec 8 (PTI) Eighteen people were arrested in Gautam Buddh Nagar’s Greater Noida Saturday for allegedly violating the National Green Tribunal’s orders on checking air pollution, officials said.Also Read - Jailed Samajwadi Party Leader Azam Khan Approaches Supreme Court Seeking Bail to Campaign in UP Elections

This is the first such action in Delhi-National Capital Region in which arrests have been made at construction sites where material was found uncovered and dust was blowing, they said. Also Read - Supreme Court Judgement: Daughters to Inherit Self-Acquired Properties of Fathers Dying Without a Will

A team of subdivisional magistrate, Dadri, Anjani Kumar Singh, Police Circle Officer, Bisrakh, Nishank Sharma and officials of the Central Pollution Control Board carried out inspections at the construction sites where dust was blowing in violation of the NGT orders, the district administration said. Also Read - Man Sets Himself Ablaze Outside Supreme Court, Hospitalised

“Eighteen people were arrested under Section 151 — of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 — and have been sent to jail,” it said in a statement.

The accused were arrested from the sites of Galaxy Builders in Sector 4, Town Central, PKS group in Sector 16B, an under construction Bharat Petroleum filling statuin opposite Ecotech 12 and an illegal crushing/grinding unit from Sector -2 (Village Patwari), it said.

Cases against them were being initiated under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, it added.

District Magistrate, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Brajesh Narain Singh said similar action would continue further against those violating the guidelines and orders of the Supreme Court, the central government and the NGT.

“If we look at the air quality indicators, they are consistently in the ‘poor’ or the ‘very poor’ category and that seems to have become the new normal. We are making all efforts towards checking air pollution and improving air quality,” he told PTI.

Singh added that in compliance with the court orders, 61 people were arrested in Gautam Buddh Nagar for bursting crackers during Diwali and thereby contributing to air pollution.

The NGT had last month ordered a temporary ban on construction activities in Delhi-NCR in the wake of alarming air pollution situation ahead of Diwali. The green panel had also directed that no construction material be kept in the open even after the ban was lifted. The SC had on November 26 directed the CPCB, State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and authorities under the Graded Action Plan “to take immediate action for prosecution” against government officials who have not penalised polluters despite receiving complaint against them.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.