PAC raps state govt, civic bodies for not enforcing eco norms | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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PAC raps state govt, civic bodies for not enforcing eco norms

The public accounts committee (PAC) of the state legislature has come down heavily on the state environment authorities and civic bodies for risking the lives of citizens by not enforcing environmental rules concerning pollution and disposal of biomedical waste. Surendra Gangan reports.

mumbai Updated: Aug 10, 2013 00:48 IST
Surendra Gangan

The public accounts committee (PAC) of the state legislature has come down heavily on the state environment authorities and civic bodies for risking the lives of citizens by not enforcing environmental rules concerning pollution and disposal of biomedical waste.

In its report submitted to the legislature last week, the committee has lamented that thousands of lives are lost in big cities like Mumbai and Pune due to the local administration’s failure in implementing environmental norms.

“Citizens in these cities are exposed to the rising hazard of epidemics and critical illnesses due to rising pollution and poor environmental conditions. The rise in critical illnesses like cancer is worrisome,” the report states.

“When we inquired about the action taken against the officers responsible, we were told four officers from 14 municipal corporations have been imprisoned for dereliction of duty. More such cases are required to be registered against such officials and authorities. At the same time, the government should increase the trained manpower for effective implementation of the set norms of conservation and protection of the environment,” it adds.

The report has pointed out the civic body’s failure in shutting down the Deonar dumping ground even after it ran out of capacity years ago.

The committee has observed that despite there being strict rules about segregation of solid and biomedical waste, many civic bodies are not following the system. Similarly, many hospitals and clinics are flouting norms while disposing biomedical waste. It has also noted that the environment department has failed to take action against the guilty despite the rampant pollution of river waters due to discharge of the polluted chemicals.

The committee has recommended that release of funds to various civic bodies be held back until the basic infrastructure for safeguarding the environment is not set up. The committee, headed by Girish Bapat of BJP, has directed the government to make the no-objection certificate from the environment department mandatory for release of funds to various development projects.