Oversight Committee report on the preparation of District Environment Plans, 11/06/2021

  • 11/06/2021

Oversight Committee Report in compliance of the National Green Tribunal order passed in Original Application No. 360/2018 in Re: Shree Nath Sharma Vs Union of India & Others dated 11/06/2021.

The matter related to compliance of directions for preparation of District Environment Plans (DEP) and finally National Environment Plan.

The NGT on March 19, 2020 considered the status report filed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), February 14, 2020 - the CPCB had circulated a template for model District Environment Plan covering 7 areas as thematic areas, identified by NGT:

  1. Waste management,
  2. Water quality management,
  3. Ambient air quality,
  4. Domestic sewage,
  5. Industrial wastewater,
  6. Mining activity,
  7. Noise pollution

The NGT said that the steps taken for completion of action plans cannot be delayed having regard to implications of steps for protection of environment and public health and directed the CPCB to ensure the preparation of at least one model District Environment Plan in every state at first instance which can thereafter be replicated for all the districts in the state/UTs.

The Oversight Committee in its report, June 11, 2021 informed the NGT that the preparation of DEP's is very slow and even after 6 months, only 49 districts out of 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh have prepared the DEPs. Further, the action plans submitted by the districts represent blank templates without any monitorable targets. The plans submitted just show broad activities rather than specifics.

The CPCB would be able to finalize the verification and improvement of District Environmental Management Plans of 5 districts - Baharaich (Uttar Pradesh), Bokaro (Jharkhand), Pune (Maharashtra), Chamrajnagar (Karnataka) and Panchkula (Haryana) by June 22, 2021.

The Committee recommended that while preparing District Environment Management Plans, the district level authorities/SPCBs should be directed to assess, mitigate and monitor adverse impacts of various environmental pollution sources at district levels and also suggest steps that are required to address those issues.