Pollution Report Seeks Environmental Asylum for Delhi Residents

Senior citizens of Delhi urge the government to save them from dust and noise pollution of FAR extended construction activity. Campaign and Photo by Rakesh Raman
Senior citizens of Delhi urge the government to save them from dust and noise pollution of FAR extended construction activity. Campaign and Photo by Rakesh Raman

Pollution Report Seeks Environmental Asylum for Delhi Residents

Report reveals that dust and noise pollution will directly affect the health of almost 2 million people who live in about 2,000 housing societies of India’s capital New Delhi.

A new research report on increasing pollution in New Delhi has appealed to the UN Refugee Agency to give environmental asylum to the people of the city.

The report reveals the worsening environmental situation in Delhi and urges United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mr. Filippo Grandi, to treat Delhi residents like refugees or Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and allow them to seek asylum in clean, pollution-free environments.

The 80-page report: “Lethal Gas Chambers of India: FAR Construction and Poisonous Pollution in Delhi” contends that the hazardous effects of air pollution have exacerbated as the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, has unleashed a brutal scheme under the FAR (floor area ratio) construction policy.

The report highlights the environment, corruption, and lawlessness issues around FAR construction in housing societies where millions of people live and its adverse impact on residents’ health and their fundamental rights.

Compiled by the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation – an NGO in Delhi – the report reveals that dust and noise pollution emanating from FAR construction will directly affect the health of almost 2 million people who live in about 2,000 housing societies of Delhi, which is already the world’s most polluted national capital. 

The report compares the extreme pollution in Delhi to the poisonous gas chambers used by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust for the genocide of millions of European Jews. It argues that pollution in Delhi is harmful to millions of Indians as well as people in other parts of the world with its impact on global warming and climate change. Therefore, its lethal effect is equivalent to weapons of mass destruction.

The author of the research report, Rakesh Raman, is a journalist and founder of RMN Foundation. He has been running mass awareness environment-protection campaigns in Delhi. He also publishes Clean Climate environment news magazine that covers local and international environmental news and issues to engage with different stakeholders who are trying to protect the environment.

“The FAR construction activity is illegal as it is depriving citizens of their right to pollution-free living guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” argues Rakesh Raman. “Also, by allowing FAR construction, the Indian government is abusing the right to life enshrined in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations.”

The report asserts that FAR scheme is based on a reckless policy of the government that allows housing societies to carry out massive construction which is spreading lethal dust and noise pollution in and around the inhabited societies. As the construction work under the dubious FAR scheme will run for many years, it will affect the health of millions of people, including men, women, children, and senior citizens.

Although the housing societies are regulated by the office of the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government, it has delinquently refused to entertain residents’ complaints against FAR construction. Now, the approvals for FAR projects are being given by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which is among the most corrupt organizations of India. 

While FAR construction breaks many existing laws such as the Unified Building Bye Laws (UBBL), Delhi Apartment Ownership Act, Delhi Fire Service (DFS) Rules, National Building Code (NBC), Easementary Rights, Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, and Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, DDA is blindly approving FAR construction proposals in occupied housing societies. 

Now, RMN Foundation is circulating its research report among lawmakers in India and global environment-protection agencies with the appeal to withdraw the FAR scheme so that FAR construction is not allowed in the inhabited societies of Delhi. Among its recommendations, the report suggests to stop the ongoing FAR projects and demolish the FAR extended construction already done in the housing societies.

About RMN Foundation

RMN Foundation is an educational and public charitable Trust formed in May 2015 for the benefit of humanity at large. It is registered with the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi at New Delhi, India. With all-encompassing philanthropic objectives to serve the masses, RMN Foundation is now working as a nonprofit, non-governmental organization (NGO) in diverse fields of human activity. All the services of the Foundation are structured to ensure “Equal Opportunity for All to Live and Progress.” Website: www.rmnfoundation.org


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