The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Kerala Assembly is planning to take the state Pollution Control Board (PCB) to task for its ‘failure’ to control pollution levels in different regions of the state.
According to highly-placed sources, PAC members have expressed “deep dissatisfaction” about the failures of the Public Accounts Committee on several fronts, thus failing in its primary duty.
It is said that this dissatisfaction will be evident in the PAC report that will be submitted to the Kerala Assembly soon.
“The PCB is formally claiming that it has succeeded in bringing down pollution in the state to an accepted level. But in several parts of the state, the pollution level is extremely higher than acceptable norms. The PCB is not able to tackle it,” a senior official said. According to the sources, the PAC is outlining a suggestion that “the PCB should immediately act even on media reports on pollution and come out in the public on the reality of the report”.
“In the recent history, media has played a major role in highlighting issues of the pollution. In many instances, local protests gained state and national attention because of the active intervention of media. If it is made mandatory that the PCB must act on media reports, it will definitely increase the transparency of the system,” the official said.Public Accounts Committee chairman T M Thomas Isaac MLA said: “We are planning a major intervention in the realm of environmental issues. A sensitive intervention is urgently in need for a state like Kerala. It is the duty of the government to ensure that citizens are not denied a right to dignified life”.
However he refused to comment about the details of the upcoming PAC report. “It has to be tabled in the Assembly,” he said.