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Green tribunal stays appointments in state pollution control boards

Green tribunal stays appointments in state pollution control boards
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday restrained state governments from making appointments to the post of chairman and member secretary in their respective pollution control boards. 

The green panel expressed surprise over the “arbitrary” manner in which the office-bearers of all state pollution control boards were being appointed without following a uniform criteria.

“You (boards) are saying that appointments are being made after taking into account the special knowledge or practical experience in dealing with matters of environment. But, there has to be some fundamental qualification at the outset.You cannot go on like this,” a Bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, said in an oral order.

“All state governments are directed not to appoint Chairman and Member Secretary of state pollution control boards till the matter is decided by us,” it said. The Tribunal had last year directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests to submit detailed information about members and office-bearers of all State Pollution Control Boards on their designation, experience and qualifications.

The directions came while hearing a plea by Uttarakhand resident Rajendra Singh Bhandari, who had challenged the constitution of state pollution control boards on the ground that the people who do not qualify are appointed as Chairman, Member Secretary and Members of the Boards.

According to the plea, these appointments are bound to affect environmental issues seriously in as much as the grant of consents under Prevention and Control of Pollution Act and the entire regulatory regime depends upon the effective working of the respective Boards.
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