NGT directs MoEF to take urgent measures to revamp monitoring mechanism of environmental norms

·2-min read

New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to take urgent measures to revamp the monitoring mechanism for compliance of conditions mentioned in environmental clearances granted to projects and industries.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel asked MoEF to give due attention for proper constitution of District Environment Impact Assessment Authority in the States to ensure the projects of category 'B' and 'B-1' are properly scrutinised.

The projects of category 'B' require clearance from state government while the projects categorised as 'B1' require EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) report for appraisal and also have to undergo public consultation process.

'Apart from other measures, the MoEF needs to take urgent measures to revamp the monitoring mechanism in a time-bound manner in the interest of safety and health of the citizens and protection of the environment so as to ensure monitoring of compliance of environmental clearances conditions of at least 'red' category industries, not less than once in a quarter,' the bench said.

The green panel also asked the Central Pollution Control Board and the state pollution control boards to take measures to conduct monitoring of environmental clearances conditions at their level at least once every quarter for all 'Red' category units, in the interest of safety of the citizens, which may also be looked into by the Chief Secretaries of the all States/UTs.

The green panel said there is poor monitoring and there are huge gaps in laying down of conditions and its enforcement and asked the Environment Ministry to review and strengthen the mechanism for the purpose.

It also took note of a report filed by an Expert Committee, headed by Justice B C Patel, former Chief Justice Delhi, which said that it is necessary to appoint adequate number of Scientists and other officers as well as other staff considering the number of industries so as to effectively monitor the manufacturing units.

The directions came when the green panel was hearing a plea moved by petitioner Sandeep Mittal seeking stricter mechanisms to ensure compliance of conditions mentioned in environmental clearances granted for projects.

Laying down conditions for EC based on the appraisal is not enough unless compliance thereof is duly monitored and ensured with a view to achieve the said object, the plea said. PTI PKS RKS RKS