Delhi

NGT slams State pollution bodies

Coming down heavily on various State pollution control boards and pollution control committees for “lack of effective governance”, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to conduct performance audits of the regulatory bodies meant for environment protection.

A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel further directed the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to constitute a three-member expert committee to ensure proper functioning of the regulatory bodies in the respective States.

“There being far from satisfactory governance on the part of the SPCBs, resulting in large number of deaths and diseases in the country, remedial measures are required,” the Bench said.

‘Identify remedies’

Observing that the performance of the State pollution boards has been questioned in various judgments and orders, the green panel said, “There is a need to carry out performance audit of functioning of all the pollution control boards and pollution control committees in the country and to identify remedial steps required in manning and functioning of the SPCBs and PCCs or otherwise.”

The Bench further added, “Unless strong effective regulatory regime is in place, and shortcomings identified and remedied, to expect clean environment would be unrealistic and merely a dream.”

Appointment process

Raising concerns about the appointment process to the State PCBs, it said, “Appointment process does contribute to such ineffectiveness. There is, thus, an urgent need to review the qualification and appointment procedure so as to realistically comply with the mandate of the [previous] judgment of the Supreme Court.” While the CPCB has been directed to conduct the performance audits of the SPCBs within six months, the expert committee has been directed to provide “suggestions for improvement, if any to remedy the existing deficiencies in the effective functioning of the regulatory bodies for meaningful protection of the environment”. Further, the CPCB has been asked to suggest guidelines for functioning of the SPCBs for bringing air and water quality in polluted stretches within the prescribed norms.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 11:35:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/ngt-slams-state-pollution-bodies/article26008687.ece

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