Pollution board clips DCs’ wingshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/pollution-board-clips-dcs-wings/

Pollution board clips DCs’ wings

In an unprecedented move,the Haryana State Pollution Control Board has decided to withdraw the power accorded to the deputy commissioners to issue No Objection Certificates to major industrial units.

In an unprecedented move,the Haryana State Pollution Control Board has decided to withdraw the power accorded to the deputy commissioners to issue No Objection Certificates to major industrial units. Now,cases pertaining to industrial units worth over Rs 5 crore would be dealt by the HSPCB headquarters at Panchkula. However,the DCs can grant NOCs to projects which entail investment of less than Rs 5 crore.

The HSPCB has also decided that from now onwards,the state’s revenue department would submit a report on the feasibility of the site,where an industrial unit has to come up. Earlier,the board’s research officers did this job,which had led to discrepancies in some cases.

Justifying the move,a senior HSPCB officer said,“How could a police officer assess the seriousness of an injury caused to a victim? It is the job of the doctor. Same is the case with the pollution department. Our ROs shall be acting on revenue department’s report on the site,where the industrial unit has to come up. It is the revenue authorities,who know the best about the locations.”

With an aim to reduce departmental paperwork,the board would now give a consent of five years for setting up an industrial unit,instead of the earlier period of one year. On industrial units found violating the norms of Environment Protection Act, RR Jowell,chairman,HSPCB,said,“We shall be sealing the machinery of the violating industrial unit,till the unit becomes capable of dealing with the discharge and the pollution caused by such unit is within the permissible limits.”

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The HSPCB has decided that all illegal industrial units shall have to face a mandatory prosecution even if they fulfil all the required pollution norms at the time of getting caught. Previously,no penalty was imposed on such a unit for the period during which it had functioned without the permission of the board,if it adhered by the pollution norms,at the time of being caught.

The board has also adopted the Union government’s guidelines pertaining to rice shellers and poultry farms. The guidelines formulated by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have been adopted by the Haryana government. The HSPCB has already written to the state government for issuing instructions to all the rice shellers and poultry farm operators for complying with the guidelines.

“Certain major changes had to be introduced for streamlining various tasks undertaken by the state pollution control board. All the major policy changes have been approved by the Board members. Certain directions under the provisions of Environment Protection Act have to be formally issued by the government,” Jowell added.