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Environ authorities lethargic, says NGT
The National Green Tribunal, Southern Zone, pulled up the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) for not submitting a compliance report on a case of violation by a housing project even after pronouncing three orders.
“The statutory authorities are taking the environmental issues in a lethargic manner while discharging duties,” said Justice K Ramakrishnan and Saibal Dasgupta when TNPCB and the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) sought more time.
Following a complaint that Jain Housing firm violated environmental laws in case of a project in Chengalpattu, the tribunal directed TNPCB to take action. The authority submitted that the project violated Water and Air (Prevention and Control) Act, 1981, and failed to obtain environmental clearance. The tribunal then directed it to submit action taken report, including the recovery of compensation for damage to the environment, apart from initiating action.
When the matter was taken up for consideration, TNPCB submitted that criminal prosecution was initiated but did not submit the report on compensation. When the SEIAA submitted that it had no role to play, the bench said SEIAA could independently recommend action.
“Even after three separate orders the statutory authorities seek more time to complete proceedings. However, one more opportunity can be given to them,” it said.