Recovery of environmental compensation from polluting units remains a challenge for HPCB
A consolidated report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) submitted to the NGT mentions the non-compliance of erring unitsUpdated: Jul 14, 2020 00:03 IST
Despite National Green Tribunal’s (NGT’s) clear guidelines, polluting units in Haryana aren’t complying with the environmental standards and making recovery of compensation an uphill task for the state pollution control board.
A consolidated report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) submitted to the NGT mentions the non-compliance of erring units.
In its November 2019 orders, the NGT had made it clear that meaningful action has to be taken by the state pollution control boards against the polluting units and the environmental compensation should be recovered as the cost of restoration of the damage to the environment, otherwise there will be no meaningful environmental governance.
As per a report of Haryana pollution control board, there are 129 industries in three clusters — 72 in Faridabad, 30 in Gurugram and 27 in Panipat — which have not been complying with the environmental standards for the last five years.
The board claimed that 76 units, including 45 in Faridabad, 21 in Gurugram and 10 in Panipat, were facing closure over their non-compliance.
As per the report, of Rs 1.53 crore imposed on the erring units in Faridabad, the state pollution control board could recover only Rs 19.53 lakh.
In Panipat, Rs 70-lakh fine has been slapped on eight polluting units, of which only Rs 25.47 lakh could be recovered from three units.
However, the environmental compensation to be paid by the polluting units in Gurugram was not mentioned in the report.
S Narayanan, member secretary, Haryana State Pollution Control Board, said, “The recovery of environmental compensation must be in process and I will get it examined again.”
“But the erring units will not be allowed to reopen until they clear the dues. A committee in the state headquarters will probe every case individually and impose the penalty as per the CPCB guidelines,” he added.
On why the environmental compensation imposed on the erring units in Gurugram was not mentioned, Narayanan said, “It may not be immediately issued, but is usually done in all cases without any exception.”
It is pertinent to mention here that in the reports of polluted industrial areas or clusters monitored in 2018 by the CPCB, Gurugram was at the ninth spot, Panipat at 11th and Faridabad at 63rd. As per the scores, Gurugram and Panipat are in the category of critically polluted areas, whereas Faridabad is a severely polluted area.
In the November 2019 orders regarding the status of compliance of orders and recovery of environment compensation from the polluting units in red and orange zones, the NGT had sought the consolidated status report from the pollution control board of the state.
As per the information, the NGT is likely to hear the matter next week.