- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Haryana chief secretary to look into the state’s inspection policy of industries. The Chief Secretary has been asked to submit the report within a month.
- The direction comes in the backdrop of a plea which has alleged that industries were operating without requisite consent from pollution control board and have caused widespread water pollution. The plea has sought closure of industrial units running without the requisite statutory consent under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was enacted in 1974 to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution and for maintaining or restoring water resources in India.
- Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was enacted in 1981 for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in India.
- The NGT has raised dissatisfaction over Haryana’s inspection policy of industries and noted that it does not follow Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) mandate of inspecting highly polluting industries once in three years. It has directed that the policy must be revised by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) in consultation with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within a month.
- Highly polluting industries come under the Red Category of Industries. These industries have maximum pollution potential. Example: Tanneries, Cement, Fertilizer industry, etc.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has had developed the criteria of categorization of industrial sectors based on the Pollution Index. The Pollution Index is a function of air a) emissions (air pollutants), b) effluents (water pollutants), c) hazardous wastes generated and consumption of resources. Based on the index industries are categorised into a) red, b) orange, c) green and d) white.
- The National Green Tribunal was established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010. The responsibility of the tribunal is to work on the disposal of cases related to environmental protection, conservation of forests and other natural resources.
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