Oversight committee report on industrial pollution, Uttar Pradesh, 05/08/2020

  • 05/08/2020

Oversight Committee report in compliance to the National Green Tribunal order passed in Original Application No. 1038/2018 in Re: News item published in "The Asian Age" authored by Sanjay Kaw titled "CPCB to rank industrial units on pollution levels".

The report mentioned an article published in Down to Earth, October 15, 2019 titled "Air pollution kills a child every 3 minutes in India" and the report by the Centre for Science and Environment, June 5, 2019 "Air pollution kills an average 8.5 out of every 10,000 children in India before they turn five".

The committee report included the compliance status of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB). As per the action taken report of UPPCB, there are 9 CPAs and 4 SPAs categorized based on an evaluation of the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) carried out by the CPCB in 2018.

The Committee in its recommendations said that the CEPI regime has been continuing for the past 10 years and if with all the action plans and mitigation measures, these areas still remain in the critically polluted category, then it certainly reflects badly on the quality of enforcement. It cannot solely be the responsibility of Pollution Control Boards.There are more than 17 departments which need to take integrated measures to control pollution in these areas. Norms need to be backed by schemes.

A very important component should be awareness and involvement of the stakeholders. In Sahibabad, there is a group of 18 industrial units who are practising self-environment management and doing well as far as pollution abatement measures are concerned. Such kind of self-environment management groups need to be promoted.

A massive campaign needs to be launched by the Uttar Pradesh government for making all the industrialists aware of the environmental constraints and the proposed abatement measures.

The UPPCB is facing problems as far as recovery of environmental compensation is concerned, especially from urban local bodies and public utilities. Closure of these public utilities are not a solution. Withdrawal of consent to operate may create a public order issue. In such cases, some mechanism has to be worked out for realization of recovery from public utilities, according to the Oversight Committee report.  

Note: The Oversight Committee report August 5, 2020 was uploaded to the NGT site March 18, 2021