Why didn't you supersede KSPCB, HC demands of govt

Court chides board for not checking pollution in B'lore

The High Court on Monday demanded an explanation from the State government why it took no action against the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) by way of supersedure for the latter’s failure to check pollution in Bangalore.

Hearing a suo motu petition, a division bench of Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri ordered that notices be issued to the government, the Central Pollution Control Board and others in this regard.

The bench was unhappy with the submission of the KSPCB on reducing pollution. The board, in its affidavit, conceded that the level of air and noise pollution had exceeded in residential areas wherever it was monitored.

It also submitted that violations had come down as per the figures released by the transport department which checks air and noise levels in Bangalore. But the bench was not pleased: “Even after 30 years, you have not done much to check pollution. Pollution in residential areas is increasing compared with industries.

Why should you not be superseded? People are suffering from cancer and other diseases and you are not doing anything to check pollution,” the chief justice said and demanded to know why the government did not take any action against the KSPCB. Pointing to Section 47 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the bench said that the board could be superseded if it was not functioning properly.

Referring to non-performing officials in the KSPCB, the bench said, “We are wasting our time here. The officers are at the same place for years. Why not revamp it (the board) completely?” The bench then referred to the noise and air pollution by buses and sought to know what steps have been taken to check the same.

The bench agreed with the suggestion by the counsel for the KSPCB that the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) be impleaded in the petition. The court then ordered that notices be issued to both the corporations. The KSPCB was directed to file a comprehensive report on the steps it is taking to reduce the noise levels.

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