Bindu Shajan Perappadan

NEW DELHI: The Central Pollution Control Board’s wait for a new full-time Chairman just got delayed further with Union Environment and Forests Secretary Meena Gupta ordering a “re-assessment of the previous selection”.

Stating that the Ministry was in the process of appointing a new chairman for the Board, Ms. Gupta said: “The Ministry is working as per the guidelines for selection. However, we have asked for a re-assessment in this case.”

The post has been lying vacant for the past 17 months and is now being looked after by a senior official of the Union Environment and Forests Ministry as an additional charge.

Re-assessment

The Ministry had invited applications for the post recently and the process for selection was under way. This latest order of “re-assessment” comes, among other reasons, after the selection process ran into trouble when a group of senior researchers -- also applicants for the post -- complained to the Union Environment and Forests Secretary about the “unfair” selection process.

Among its top functions, the Board advises the Central Government on matters concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of these parameters. It also co-ordinates the activities of the State boards and resolves disputes among them, besides planning and organising training of persons engaged in the programme on prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution.

Asked about the delay and whether it was causing problems in the day-to-day functioning of the CPCB, its member-secretary and himself an applicant for the post, B. Sengupta, said: “I am not aware of any development in the case. It is for the Ministry to decide on what they want to do.”

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