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IndiaVacancies in state pollution control boards: NGT seeks explanation

Vacancies in state pollution control boards: NGT seeks explanation

Date:

New Delhi, Apr 21: The Green Tribunal has directed the member secretaries of all state pollution control boards and pollution control committees (in Union Territories) to file affidavits explaining why a large number of sanctioned posts are vacant.

Noting that almost 50 per cent of the posts across the country are vacant, the green panel observed that, “Such a huge vacancy is one of the major reasons for improper enforcement of () acts and rules.”

The tribunal was hearing a matter regarding the infrastructure, resources and capacity of the state pollution control boards and pollution control committees being impacted because of several reasons, including inadequate sanctioned strength of personnel and high number of vacancies, especially in technical positions.

Noting a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) following the tribunal's earlier order, a bench of National Green Tribunal Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava said it shows a “very grim situation.”

“We find that out of sanctioned staff strength exists in the state pollution control boards and pollution control committees, appointments have not been made and posts are lying vacant which is affecting the regulatory mechanism at the state level on environmental issues,” the bench, also comprising Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi and Expert Member A Senthil Vel, said.

Noting the report, the tribunal said, “Almost 50 per cent posts are vacant. Maximum posts are lying vacant in Bihar, Jharkhand and the Union Territory of Daman-Diu. Such a huge vacancy is one of the major reasons for improper enforcement of acts and rules.”

It said across committees and boards, there are 1,091 contractual staff, of which 146 and 450 are of technical and scientific background, respectively.

“If such staff can be taken on contract then why regular recruitment cannot be made?” the tribunal asked in an order passed on April 12.

It also noted the lack of proper facilities and infrastructure across state pollution control board and pollution control committee laboratories.

“Out of 190 laboratories, only 14 laboratories are recognised as environmental lab under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). Further, merely having National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) certification in 48 laboratories has no meaning unless they form a part of the environment laboratory,” the tribunal said.

“No details of staff strength, ratio of administrative and technical posts, environmental laboratories, monitoring network has been disclosed for CPCB,” it added.

According to the report, the average expenditure is much below the generation of income, it said.

“Hence, we direct the member secretaries of all the state pollution control boards and pollution control committees to file an affidavit before the member secretary of CPCB within a period of six weeks from today disclosing the reason as to why till now the full strength appointments have not been made and why so many sanctioned posts are lying vacant and also time schedule within which the vacant posts will be filled up and necessary in infrastructure in the laboratories will be created,” the tribunal said.

The panel posted the matter to July 29 for further proceedings.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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