Development cannot take place on graves of human beings: NGT

Tribunal pulls up Haryana govt.

Following a plea alleging violation of environmental norms by industries in Haryana, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has held that industrial development cannot take place “on the graves of human beings”. The green panel has directed the State government to increase the frequency of inspections in affected areas.

Taking note of a report furnished by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel observed that there was “rampant non-compliance of environmental norms by industries resulting in contamination of groundwater and deterioration of air quality”.

While stating that industrial development in a “sustainable manner is necessary”, the Bench said: “Such unsatisfactory state of affairs needs to be factored in the policy framework for remedial action. Revised policy must match the gap in violations and remedial measures by regulators. The report of the Chief Secretary refers to ease of doing business initiatives to encourage industrial development. This industrial development cannot be on the grave of human beings.”

“There can be no objection to bureaucratic procedures being relaxed, simplified, and shortened, and industrial growth and employment generation programmes being encouraged, but at the same time, such initiatives must be balanced against deterioration of air and water quality,” the Bench noted.

‘Increase inspections’

The State government was also directed to inspect 17 industries under the ‘highly polluting category’ every three months, ‘red’ category industries every six months; and ‘orange’ category industries every year.

The Bench added: “The Haryana Chief Secretary may also ensure remedial action against deficiencies pointed out in the report of the CPCB, especially with regard to flouride in groundwater, which requires making potable water available to inhabitants in a time-bound manner.”

The green panel has directed the State government to furnish a compliance report by February 2020.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 4:23:48 AM |

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