NGT raps PCB, Ghaziabad Municipal Corp over inaction on illegal dairy farms

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has come down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation over illegal operation of dairy farms in Chiranjiv Vihar residential colony in the city saying that the two have failed in discharging their duties.

A bench of Justice Sudhir Agarwal, in a recent order, said: “We also could not understand, why state PCB officials who have enough powers under various statutes relating to environment to take appropriate action in the matter have not exercised such statutory powers and have shown complete laxity and apathy. This is serious and need be dealt with sternly.”

In the present application, the petitioner said that as per a letter dated December 21, 2022 by the state PCB, an environmental compensation was imposed against 14 illegal dairies and their particulars are available with the head office of PCB but no effective action has been taken.

The green court, however, said before passing any final order in the matter it is appropriate to give an opportunity to the authorities to explain their conduct and also to grant a short time as requested by the City Health Officer who has appeared before NGT to ensure compliance of Tribunal’s order.

Posting the matter for further hearing on February 1, the Tribunal asked the Municipal Corporation Ghaziabad to file a fresh action taken report in the issue.

State PCB would show as to what effective action has been taken for execution and compliance of Tribunal’s order and why it did not file any action taken report as directed earlier, read the order dated January 25.

During the course of the hearing, Municipal Corporation’s counsel said action for demolition could not be taken by Municipal Corporation since it is within the jurisdiction of Ghaziabad Development Authority.

However, when the bench pointed out that for prevention of pollution Municipal Corporation possesses enough power under statute and such powers are not restricted by above Government Order, he could not give any reply.

City Health Officer sought two days’ time for execution of Tribunal’s order and to prevent pollution being caused by the illegal dairies.

Another health officer said he along withAother officers of Municipal Corporation Ghaziabad, Police Department, and State PCB visited the site where dairies were illegally operating, and they took all possible action. But when enquired, whether working of dairies was stopped or the same were sealed, he could give no positive reply and sought 48 hours’ time to take effective action, the NGT stated.

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