APPCB asked not to hesitate to arrest `negligent' officials
HYDERABAD: Furious over the laxity in disposal of solid waste in towns and cities leading to outbreak of diseases like dengue, Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Tuesday asked the AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) not to hesitate even to arrest the Commissioners of municipalities who were negligent.
During a review of the activities of the Environment, Forest, Science & Technology Department, the Chef Minister reportedly instructed APPCB's Member-Secretary Rajeshwar Tiwari to get tough with the civic bodies not complying with anti-pollution norms and prosecute the officials found taking it easy. Environment & Forest Minister S. Vijayarama Raju and Special Chief Secretary Gayathri Ramachandran were present. Dr. Reddy wanted immediate imposition of a ban on thin plastic bags of less than 20 microns thickness. He asked Mr. Tiwari to continue raids on units producing plastic covers and the shops selling them and take firm action for violation of rules. He also wanted public awareness to be created against use of plastic covers. The Chief Minister was informed by Mr. Tiwari that 16 out of the 444 plastic units inspected so far had been found violating the rules relating to manufacture, sales and use of plastic covers. A penalty of Rs. 25,000 was collected from each and two recycled plastic units were closed.
Dr. Reddy ordered phasing out of the vehicles which were 15-years-old and introduction of alternative fuel like LPG, bio-diesel and compressed natural gas. He instructed that APSRTC buses must compulsorily following Euro-II standards, with each bus carrying a pollution-under-check certificate. He was informed that the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee was monitoring pollution level in Hyderabad.
Officials also said the APPCB had launched a Rs. 10-crore project to restore Noor Mohd Kunta lake at Kattedan back to its original glory. The action taken so far was such that 61 industries found polluting the lake were closed. Similarly, the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority had launched projects to reclaim Asanikunta and Khazipalli tanks.