The High Court on Thursday was informed by the state government that industrialist, ideologue and senior BJP leader Dr Vaman Acharya has been appointed as the chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).
The government submitted this when a division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna was hearing a PIL filed questioning its act of appointing R Sridharan, secretary of the department of forest, ecology and environment, as the chairman of the KSPCB on ad-hoc basis.
Petitioner Sriramegowda stated that the appointment of the board’s chairman on ad-hoc basis is contrary to the section 4 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and according to the Act, till a new chairman is appointed after following due procedures, the outgoing chairman shall remain in office.
Hearing the petition, the court on September 4, had ordered A S Sadashivaiah to continue as the chairman of KSPCB till further orders.
On Thursday, Advocate General S Vijay Shankar filed an affidavit stating that the state government has appointed Dr Vaman Acharya as the new chairman of the KSPCB.
He said that Acharya is concerned about the environment.
Apart from being an industrialist, he is also a farmer and has started a socially useful private enterprise in which four-eight tonnes of organic manure is being produced from the garbage, he added.
What the Act Says?
According to The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, a chairman of the Pollution Control Board (PCB),to be appointed by the state government, shall be a person having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of matters relating to environmental protection or a person having knowledge and experience in administering institutions dealing with the matters aforesaid.
The chairman may be either whole-time or part-time as the state government may think fit.
Former chairman A S Sadashivaiah was a former pricipal chief conservator of forest.
Meanwhile, the new chairman Dr Vaman Acharya, a medical practioner by profession, told Express that he has been dealing with waste management for the last 15 years.
“I am a proud scavenger” he added.