NGT raps states over appointments in pollution control boards

NGT raps states over appointments in pollution control boards
NGT raps states over appointments in pollution control boards

The National Green Tribunal today came down heavily on various states for not submitting compliance report on appointment to the posts of chairpersons and member secretaries in their pollution control boards.

The NGT had in August last year asked the state governments to fill the vacancies in the boards as per the guidelines laid down by it and file the report.

“The judgement was delivered in August last year and you had to file compliance report in three months. But you have nothing.

“We had given you ample time for complying with our directions. Today, you are seeking time verbally. You are not putting anything on record. This is not the way,” a vacation bench, headed by Justice R S Rathore, said.

The observation came after Goa sought 45 days to make appointments to its state pollution control board.

The counsel appearing for the Goa government said that panchayat elections are due in the state and the model code of conduct is in operation, making it difficult for it to comply with the NGT direction.

He said that the state government is “more than willing and has all the intentions” to implement the orders of the tribunal but some more time should be given to it.

The bench, however, refused to budge and posted the matter for hearing tomorrow.

The tribunal also directed the governments of UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur and Telangana to file their response to the show cause notice issued by it on appointments in their respective pollution control boards.

Earlier, the NGT had issued notices to the states and chairpersons of their pollution control boards who have not been appointed as per the norms laid down by it.

The green panel had asked them why they should not be directed to cease functioning as chairman of the respective boards for not being appointed in consonance with the judgement of the tribunal.

The green panel, which had issued a slew of guidelines for appointments to the posts of Chairman and Member Secretary, had in August said the nominations should be of persons who have “special knowledge, practical experience or qualification in environment protection studies” and not on the ground of their association with state government.

The tribunal said the chairman or member secretary should have a fixed term, which should not be extended. Such persons should not hold office in the Board in accordance to their tenure in state government.

The judgement had come on a plea by Uttarakhand resident Rajendra Singh Bhandari, who had challenged the constitution of state pollution control boards on the ground that people who did not qualify were appointed as chairman, member secretary and members of these boards.

According to the plea, these appointments are bound to affect environmental issues seriously in as much as the grant of consents under Prevention and Control of Pollution Act and the entire regulatory regime depended on the effective working of these boards.

( Source – PTI )

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