NGT forms panel to curb pollution in Singrauli, Sonebhadra districts

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Sep 2018 10:56:42


By Neetesh Dubey,

MATTER against pollution caused in Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh and Sonebhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued strict directions on application filed by Advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey on record of Supreme Court. NGT in its order said ‘all the recommendations as quoted above are accepted. If any of the industries fail to comply with the recommendations, the same may have to be shutdown.’ NGT said, “We consider it appropriate to constitute an oversight Committee as follows :

a) Justice Rajesh Kumar, Allahabad High Court and former Chairman of Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal - Chairman.

b) Representative of Central Pollution Control Board- Member.

c) A representative each from Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board and Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board - Members.

d) District Magistrates of Sonebhadra and Singrauli districts as members."
NGT said that “The Committee will take following steps. It will take stock of all actions taken so far. Prepare time bound action plan to deal with problem and ensure its implementation.

The Committee may requisition services of such technical experts as may be necessary and may also carry out visits to sites whenever necessary. They will be entitled to all logistic support for performing these functions which shall be provided under directions of the Chief Secretary, Madhya Pradesh and Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh. The Monitoring Committee may also set up website to receive and give information on subject. The Monitoring Committee may also involve educational institutions for awareness and feedback about results.”

NGT also said that all the authorities concerned in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh shall cooperate and coordinate with the Monitoring Committee. The Committee can seek such technical assistance as required from any authority. The Chief Secretary, Madhya Pradesh and Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh, will provide all facilities to the Committee to perform its functions.

The Committee may send its periodical reports to the Tribunal by e-mail. The Committee may assume charge within two weeks. The Committee may prepare an action plan which shall have targets of ensuring compliance. It may meet at such intervals as considered appropriate but twice in every month and fix targets for compliance. NGT also added, “The Committee will be free to take up all incidental issues.

The Committee will be free to seek further directions from this Tribunal by e-mail. The Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh may determine remuneration of the Chairman in consultation with him and the Chief Secretaries of MP and UP will also provide all logistic support including security of needed for their proper functioning.” NGT added that the District Magistrates of Sonebhadra and Singrauli districts will be co-coordinators for their respective districts. The panel may furnish a report of action taken to this Tribunal after three months.

The panel will be entitled to take help of technical experts in execution of this order. The panel may frame its action plan for implementation within one month from today and implementation may be completed within six months as far as possible. Timelines may be laid down. A copy of action plan may be sent to this Tribunal. Thereafter, reports may be sent at least once in two months. The Committee may also assess damage to environment as well as to individuals as already suggested in the report. The report may be placed for consideration on February 15, 2019, NGT said in its order.

Advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey appeared in person, while Advocate Deep Shikha Bharti for UP, Advocate V K Shukla and Advocate Vijay Laxmi for MP. Original application was filed with grievance against pollution caused in Singrauli district in Madhya Pradesh and Sonebhadra district in Uttar Pradesh. Case of the applicant was that there are thermal power plants in the districts and on account of their activities, acute pollution is caused. Industries are discharging mercury beyond prescribed norms affecting nervous system causing disorders and other ailments to inhabitants.

The said areas are critically polluted as per ‘Comprehensive Environmental Polluted Index Report’. There are studies that fly ash stored by industries cause high pollution. High pollution is also caused in transportation of coal by trucks from coal companies. No safety measures are being adopted.