Autonomy recommended for pollution control board

October 21st, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 21(IANS) Recommending financial and functional autonomy for the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), a parliamentary panel Tuesday criticised the trend of IAS officer and bureaucrats holding key posts in central and state pollution control boards.The parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, environment and forests, which presented its report on functioning of CPCB to both houses of parliament Tuesday, expressed its displeasure over not fixing qualifications or criteria for members of CPCB.

It noted that with composition dominated by government representatives CPCB cannot be expected to act as watchdog of environmental protection.

The committee observed: “The trend of IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers and bureaucrats holding the key posts at CPCB and state PCBs is very disturbing and that practice needs to be stopped forthwith.”

It felt that the size of CPCB should be reduced to ensure that decisions are taken and translated into action in the right earnest.

“CPCB needs to be given adequate statutory and legal support to make it effective and functional,” it said.

It also recommended the inclusion of environmental protection as an item in the seventh schedule to the constitution in the concurrent list.

The committees said CPCB should be given financial and functional autonomy so that it can discharge its duty without fear or fervour.

It also recommended that its zonal offices should be established in all states so that CPCB in close coordination with the state PCB is able to keep a close watch on the extent of pollution and take strict action against polluters.

It further recommended that CPCB should be reconstructed as an autonomous statutory authority.

The committee wanted that the ambient air quality-monitoring network should be strengthened and expanded from current 332 stations to at least 1,000 stations.

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