The tribunal directed the ministry of environment and forests to take steps for enforcement of action plan for improvement of the situation.
NEW DELHI: Contending that economic development cannot take place at the cost of public health, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to shut down polluting industries in “critically polluted” and “severely polluted” areas within three months.
A bench of Justice S.P. Wangdi, Justice K. Ramakrishnan and expert member Dr. Nagin Nanda, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, directed the Central Pollution Control Board to assess, in coordination with the state pollution control boards, the quantum of compensation to be recovered from polluting units for the last five years, taking into account the cost of restoration and cost of damage to the public health and environment and the deterrence element.
The bench said: “The scale of deterrence may be related to the period and the frequency of defaults. Such other factors as may be found relevant may also be taken into account.
No further industrial activities or expansion be allowed with regard to ‘red’ and ‘orange’ category units till the said areas are brought within the prescribed parameters or till carrying capacity of area is assessed and new units or expansion is found viable having regard to the carrying capacity of the area and environmental norms.”
The tribunal directed the ministry of environment and forests to take steps for enforcement of action plan for improvement of the situation. The green panel sought a compliance report by the CPCB after three months by email and posted the matter for hearing on November 5.
The tribunal took note of a report in The Asian Age which said that the CPCB had started a process to rank 88 industrial clusters across the country based on their pollution levels.
The report said that the Central Pollution Control Board had recently completed the analysis of the levels based on air and water quality and hazardous waste generated by these clusters.
According to the report, the state pollution control committees and the Central Pollution Control Board had conducted surveys in 2009-10 to check pollution levels in the 88 notified industrial clusters. Thereafter, the CPCB had ranked these clusters under “critical” and “serious” categories.