The Indian Wire » News » Supreme Court asks Centre to set up panel over aircraft fumigation

Supreme Court asks Centre to set up panel over aircraft fumigation

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to form an experts committee within two weeks to find out if spraying of disinfectants and pesticides in aircraft was harmful for passengers.

The order of a bench of justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee came while hearing pleas challenging the National Green Tribunal’s ban on spraying disinfectants and pesticides in aircraft.

The court said the committee has to find out the harmful and hazardous effects of fumigation and examine the issue. The court remarked that it may allow spraying of insecticides on those routes suffering from mosquito problems on the basis of the report submitted by experts panel.

Representing Centre, Additional Solicitor General A.N.S. Nadkarni said the ministries of health and family welfare, and civil aviation have maintained the disinfectant spray was not harmful in an aircraft carrying passengers.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told the court that disinfectants spray was done in accordance with guidelines of World Health Organisation. Amicus Curiae and Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora said there were two kinds of disinfectants, one has immediate effect and the other has lesser effect.

Arora said reports have also said that these disinfectants are not harmful. Interglobe Aviation Ltd (Indigo Airlines) has said that spraying of disinfectants and pesticides was stopped after the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT).

On the plea of US-based neurologist Doctor Jai Kumar, the NGT had directed the Centre to ensure that no disinfectant fumigation is carried out in aircraft while passengers are on board.

Indigo Airlines challenged the order in top court and requested the court to allow spraying fumigation particularly in most affected areas like Kolkata, Patna, Lucknow, Delhi, Guwahati, Raipur, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Pune, Bengaluru, Dehradun and Bhubaneswar.

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