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CPCB insists on modern environment plan for railway stations

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has “insisted” that the Ministry of Railways devise a modern environmental management plan to control air, water and noise pollution at major railway stations.

According to sources in the railways, the CPCB had called for the formation of a joint committee comprising Railway and State government/local body officials to ensure basic civic amenities and improve environment conditions at Class-I stations. The move follows a recent high-level meeting convened by the CPCB involving top officials of the Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Housing & Urban Development.

The Railways in turn requested the CPCB to assign due weightage to different components/parameters in the template for environment performance based on rating of railway stations that are currently under review by the CPCB. However, the central agency insisted on developing a modern environmental plan to address issues relating to air, water and noise pollution in each of the 720 stations taken up for assessment across the country. A separate template on environment assessment and management would be prepared for all metro stations, the sources said.

Pollution concerns

Poor quality of environment parameters, particularly noise levels, has been an issue of concern at major railway stations. Joint inspections conducted by the Central and State pollution control authorities at select stations in the last two years revealed that a majority of them, including the Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MGR Chennai Central railway station and Tiruchi junction in Southern Railway, had not complied with the green norms under various statutory rules of the CPCB.

These stations had not obtained necessary approvals under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Air (Prevention and Control of Air Pollution) Act, 1981, and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 which was also insisted upon by the National Green Tribunal.

The CPCB has now advised that the Ministry of Railways shall be responsible for the implementation of various pollution controlling measures. The Railway authorities were also told to roll out a strategy to control noise levels at stations on priority, the sources added.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 1:17:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cpcb-insists-on-modern-environment-plan-for-railway-stations/article32983978.ece

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