NEW DELHI: Union water resources ministry has moved a proposal to establish a new authority that will have power to monitor and penalize industries polluting Ganga and its tributaries. The draft proposal has been circulated to Ministry of Law for its comments.
Union Minister Uma Bharti said that the authority will have power to take action under the section five of the Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1986. At present, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) can take action against the polluters.
According to ministry, the need was felt as now they cannot take action against any polluting industry directly and have to approach CPCB. Sometimes investigation by CPCB was found to be shoddy and incorrect, said a ministry official.
The autonomous authority will have powers to spend money, besides that of taking action against polluters.
“Until now, we would recommend to the CPCB to take action against industrial polluters under Section five of under Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1986 as it has the powers. Now, the authority we are proposing will have those powers to issue show cause notices under the section concerned," Bharti told reporters.
The draft of authority is expected to be put before the Union Cabinet for its approval soon, said Water Resources Secretary Shashi Shehkar.
He further said that the authority can issue show cause notices or can direct any other authority including the Chief Secretary of a state to take action against the polluters and if they fail to take action, the new authority will approach court seeking to impose penalty on the concerned polluters.
CAG audit for Ganga projects
To ensure transparency and efficiency in Ganga related work, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has written to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) for conducting concurrent audit of transactions in the mission.
In a letter to Deputy CAG (Administration & Staff) Ajanta Dayalan, the NMCG said that there has been a quantum jump of Rs 20,000 crore in funds handled by the NMCG and an audit by CAG will help in ensuring economic, efficient and faithful discharge of given mandate.
“NMCG has already put in place a system of internal audit wherein a firm of chartered accountants, selected through bidding carries out the internal audit of mission at quarterly intervals,” said NMCG Mission Director Rajat Bhargava.
Bhargava, who has also met top officials in CAG, said that the national auditor has accepted their demand for deputing audit officers as resident audit party in the NMCG.