Strengthen infra to monitor polluting units in Haryana: NGT to state board
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) to strengthen the infrastructure to monitor and take timely action against the erring polluting units and submit a complete action-taken report.
Hearing a petition via videoconference, the bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel observed, “We find that in the report of Haryana, only issue addressed is the frequency of inspections. There is no mention of strengthening of monitoring infrastructure, including laboratories.”
The bench also raised questions over the report submitted by HSPCB mentioning the status of fluoride contamination and availability of potable water to the affected inhabitants.
The HSPCB has been told to give the action-taken reports to the CPCB by December 31.
The bench’s order came on the subject of revision of existing monitoring mechanism to oversee compliance with environmental norms by state pollution control boards, including duration for mandatory inspections of ‘highly polluting 17 category’, ‘red’ and ‘orange’ and ‘green’ category industries and policy of auto renewals of Consent to Operate under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act as well as the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.
The matter was earlier taken up on November 5, 2019 and the NGT considered the findings in the report of the joint committee that the water quality had deteriorated in major parts of the state on account of non-compliance with environmental norms and absence of strict enforcement of law. The CPCB had recommended that HSPCB maintain regular vigilance and levy environmental compensation against violations in view of rampant non-compliances by the industries.
HSPCB member secretary S Narayanan said, “We have already taken up the issue of fluoride contamination and availability of potable water to any affected inhabitants with the PHED. All regional officers have been told to get the groundwater checked for all parameters, including fluoride content and its source. They have been asked to take action against the erring industrial units.”
“As far as the infrastructure development, including the labs, is concerned, the board is vigorously working on it and we will submit the compliance report accordingly to the tribunal as well,” he added.
It is worth mentioning here that in its July 10, 2019 orders, the NGT had directed the CPCB in coordination with the HSPCB to shut down polluting industries in ‘critically polluted’ and ‘severely polluted’ areas.
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