New Delhi, Mar 15 The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Friday directed Haryana chief secretary to look into the state's inspection policy of industries and directed him to submit a report within a month.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the policy hardly matches the mandate of precautionary and sustainable development principles of environment law as it states that highly polluting industries, as defined by the CPCB, are inspected once in three years.
The green panel directed that the policy must be revised by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) in consultation with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within a month.
"Constitution of state pollution control board without effective functioning amounts to failure of law enacted for protection of environment," the bench said.
The tribunal also expressed dissatisfaction over the report submitted by a committee of representatives of CPCB, HSPCB, Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and local administrations on pollution caused by industries in Sonipat and Panipat districts of Haryana.
The tribunal noted that the committee's report does not list the non-complying illegal units and does not specify action taken against industries illegally extracting groundwater.
"The report can hardly be held to be satisfactory, the gaps in the report be re-visited under the supervision of the member secretary, CPCB, by a team of two senior officers nominated by the member secretary, CPCB," the bench said.
"The committee may also assess the illegal withdrawal of water. The revised report and policy of the HSPCB may be filed before the next date," it said.
The tribunal's direction came during the hearing of a plea filed by a Delhi resident, Shailesh Singh, seeking a direction to close industrial units running without the requisite statutory consent under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
Alleging that these industries were causing water pollution, the plea has also sought a direction to restrain them from dumping untreated effluent in fields.
"It is submitted that even though action has been initiated by Central Pollution Control Board, on the ground level, there is no compliance and even out of the units which have been directed to close, some are still working in the same manner," the plea said.
Citing a news article, it said groundwater in most of the areas in 11 districts of southern and western Haryana is unfit for consumption due to salinity of high concentration of nitrate or fluoride. PKS PKS DIV DIV
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