State pollution control boards power curtailed

The office order signed by MoEF Director Dr Sunita V Auluck has now authorized monitoring cell in the ministry to act against the violations. The monitoring cell in the IA (impact assessment) is the nodal point for monitoring and compliance of the stipulated conditions imposed on the industrial units/infrastructural projects including CRZ (coastal regulating zone), while granting environment clearance, the order mentions.

The ministry through the order makes it clear that the vital issues like final direction with closure of the units or projects should be done with the approval of secretary environment and forest. Also, in regards to the final direction without closure of the project or units should be done with approval of additional-secretary incharge of Impact assessment division.

The Section 5 of the Act empowers the state authorities against the violators but as per the order, the issue of show cause notices without proposing closure of units or projects will have to get node from additional secretary-in-charge of impact assessment division, a senior bureaucrat in Goa government, told PTI on Tuesday.

Even for the show cause notices proposing closure of unit or project needs approval from the secretary (E&F), he added. Goa government, which has received the order, has decided to refer it to its legal advisors.

"We have received the order dated September 30, 2009 which has imposed certain restrictions on the actions of pollution control board vis-a-vis environment clearance, which also includes projects under CRZ, state environment minister Aleixo Sequeira told PTI today. The order has been forwarded to the legal advisor to study what are the powers that pollution control board would continue to enjoy, he said.

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