Submit action plan on curbing pollution: HC orders KSPCB

Submit action plan on curbing pollution: HC orders KSPCB

The High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to hold a meeting with all stakeholders and come up with an action plan on how the air and noise pollution in the City can be controlled, and submit the plan at the next hearing on September 16.

Hearing a suo motu PIL petition on air and noise pollution on the City roads, a division bench of Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri directed the government to hold a meeting with all stakeholders, including BMTC, BBMP, KSPCB and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The court directed the CPCB to assist the KSPCB in appointing a technical person to help in controlling pollution levels in Bangalore. The bench directed the KSPCB to identify the cause of air pollution and also departments which are responsible and take action. It asked the KSPCB to come up with short- and long-term measures.

 The bench directed the BMTC to provide details of the total number of buses and those which are more than 15 years old. It said BMTC drivers must be sensitised to reducing noise pollution.

The KSPCB submitted that of the 12 emission testing centres at various BMTC depots, nine were not functioning. Following directions by the bench, the Board issued directions to the BBMP, traffic police and transport department with regard to controlling pollution.

In another petition, against the appointment of KSPCB chairman Vaman Acharya, Justice A N Venugopal Gowda observed the board is not visible in its action as even animals are not able to live peacefully in  City.  

Protecting the environment is the foremost duty of the board, but nothing has been done till date. The bench observed that even in regard to the garbage crisis, no board official visited places where garbage is dumped. The bench said officials were only eating up government funds and not executing any work. 

The counsel for the KSPCB said they did not have the authority till date, as pollution was monitored by the traffic police. Now, after the court has directed them to issue directions, they have done so.

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