CHENNAI: IIT-Madras has finally applied for consent from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) for buildings constructed on its campus after 2006. It took the institute 11 years to do what is mandatory under law.
R Sarasavani, District environmental engineer, TNPCB, confirmed that application from IIT-M for consent under Air (prevention and control of pollution) Act, 1981 and Water (prevention and control of pollution) Act, 1974 has been received. The institution, being an ecologically sensitive place, should obtain consent from the board to put up buildings.
Official records show IIT-M constructed 10 buildings since September 2006 and a few more are under construction. The total built-up area that does not have the board’s consent is 3,29,676.12 sq metres.
Meanwhile, the case of unnatural death of animals in the campus filed by an animal welfare activist Anthony Clement Rubin came up before the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday. Forest department counsel Manoharan prayed the bench to modify its earlier order and hold IIT-M accountable for all scheduled animals’ deaths inside the campus. The previous order only talked about blackbuck, but now any harm to other scheduled animals would attract penal action.
M S Nambiar, the Judicial member, modified the order and warned IIT of invoking ‘polluter pays principle’ if any scheduled animal dies of the unnatural cause on the campus.
Rubin argued that festivals like Shaastra and Sarang attract a footfall of above one lakh putting a tremendous stress on wildlife. “Between the period from November 11, when NGT pronounced the interim order and till today, several animals have allegedly died due to anthropological factors,” he said.
Further, TNPCB submitted a report in which it has given a clean chit to IIT- M saying no plastic waste was found dumped.
However, the petitioner rejected the report and submitted an album of photos before the tribunal highlighting how plastic waste is still found despite the bench’s directives. The case has been posted for January 24.
10 since Sept ’06
Official records show IIT-M erected 10 buildings since September 2006 and a few more are being built.