NGT raps Uttarakhand PCB over inaction against industrial unit violating green norms

The National Green Tribunal has slammed the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board (PCB) for its ‘contradictory stands’ in relation to the motor industrial unit flouting environmental violations.

Earlier, the tribunal had disposed of the plea after noting the stand of the State PCB that the unit Surendra Motors in Haridwar was closed and compensation assessed. However, in the present complaint, it was stated that even though on papers the electricity is said to have been disconnected, the unit is still operating with the collusion of the concerned officers of the board.

“The PCB has been misleading this Tribunal with a version that the unit was closed,” the complainant stated in person during the hearing.

The Member Secretary stated that once use of water was stopped, the unit was compliant and was therefore allowed to continue. Contrary to this stand, the report filed is that the unit is non-compliant and has been closed, the bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said.

Coming down heavily on the PCB, the bench said: “We find no reason why the PCB has taken a contradictory stand before the Tribunal. First its stand was that the unit was non-compliant in absence of consent and was closed and compensation levied. On the ground, it was allowed to continue and even compensation was not recovered. Now it is stated that the electricity has been disconnected and unit closed as it was found non-compliant.

At the same time, orally it is stated that the unit was compliant and was therefore allowed to continue.”

It further said: “In view of irreconcilable stands, we find it difficult to brush aside the allegation of collusion and deliberately misleading the Tribunal. The position of Member Secretary, State PCB is of great trust and it is unfortunate that encumbent of such post should display such conduct.

“We place on record our disapproval of such conduct. The bench said, even though the Tribunal itself can take stringent coercive measures against such unlawful and undesirable conduct of the Member Secretary of the PCB, we consider it appropriate to direct the Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand to look into the conduct of the Member Secretary and take such further action as found appropriate, as per law, so that important posts are manned by people who are above board in dealing with Tribunal.”

“Needless to say Environmental good governance is need of the citizens,” it added.

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