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Telangana to pay price for lax in Biological Diversity Rules?

National Green Tribunal sets Jan 31, 2020, as deadline to form panel under rules, defaulters to pay Rs 10 lakh per month.

Published: 16th September 2019 12:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2019 12:53 PM   |  A+A-

NGT

The National Green Tribunal. (File Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The State government stares at a potential penalty of Rs 10 lakh per month — to be paid to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) — due to its laxity in enforcement of the Biological Diversity Rules, 2004.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT), in a recent judgement, set a deadline of January 31, 2020, and directed all state governments to complete the process of forming Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) and preparing People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR), as mandated by the Biological Diversity Rules, 2004.

The NGT also said that any lapse in following the deadline would cause the state governments to deposit a sum of Rs 10 lakh per month from February 2020, with the CPCB. When contacted, Telangana State Biodiversity Board, member secretary, Kalicharan Karthade, said, “We have two plans. One is to direct all Zilla Parishad chairpersons to form BMCs at the district level.

I have also written to the State government to issue a GO through the Panchayat Raj Department, directing all heads of local bodies to form BMCs. Either way, we will at least have BMCs in place across the State before the NGT deadline. We can seek more time to go ahead and prepare PBRs.”

However, as Express finds out, it will prove an impossible task for the Telangana government to prepare PBRs across the State before the deadline.

As per rules, the BMCs and PBRs have to be formed at all local bodies, including at village, Mandal, district and municipality levels. These will contain information on the biodiversity of the region, including insect, birds, plant and animal species.

As of now, the State government has managed to prepare PBRs at a meagre 213 Gram Panchayats, out of more than 12,700 Gram Panchayats in the State. At the Mandal, district and municipality levels not even a single PBR has been prepared.

In fact, the State government has not even formed BMCs at the district-level in 26 districts, including Hyderabad. At the Mandal-level, almost none of the Mandal parishads have a BMC. At the Gram Panchayat level, BMCs have been formed in only around 3,337 GPs. Formation of BMCs is mandatory for preparation of PBRs.

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