HYDERABAD: Should people in the State trust the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) with the task of keeping pollution under control?
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) does not seem to have any faith in the TSPCB, looking at its recent judgement in a case regarding pollution by pharmaceutical companies in the TSIIC SEZ at Jadcherla in Mahbubnagar.
The NGT Principal Bench in its judgement on September 20, directed for a joint committee report on the issue, to be submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and TSPCB, within three months. This was despite the TSPCB having submitted a report earlier to the Tribunal on the same issue.
The NGT Principal Bench, comprising Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Judicial Members Justice Wangdi, Justice Ramakrishnan and Expert Member Dr Nagin Nanda, expressed displeasure over the report filed by the TSPCB. They found the report inadequate and questioned TSPCB for not quantifying environmental damage caused by pharma companies, as per the formula for assessing damages, prescribed by the CPCB. Although the TSPCB counsel pointed out that the Board issued closure orders against three polluting units and gave directions for following pollution control norms to nine other units, the bench rejected report filed and directed for a new report by a joint committee lead by CPCB to conduct a comprehensive inspection on the industries.
The NGT noted that issuing closure orders was not new for the TSPCB, as it had issued closure orders twice earlier and revoked them.
The NGT directed TSPCB to enforce the principle of ‘Polluter Pays’ in respect of the units which have been found to be violating the environmental norms or those which may be hereafter be found to be doing so. It directed that compliance in this regard should also be included in the report. The matter has been posted for another hearing on January 24, 2020.