Patna, Nov 15 (PTI) In a bid to combat air pollution, the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) has decided to initiate legal action against government bodies failing to comply with environment protection laws.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board's Air Quality Index (AQI) bulletin of 244 cities issued on November 14, Saran (Chhapra) was the most polluted city in the state, with AQI of 386, followed by Bettiah (345) and Patna (324). The AQI of these cities plunged to 'very poor', which causes respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.
BSPCB chairman Devendra Kumar Shukla told PTI on Wednesday, "The air quality has deteriorated in several districts of the state. We are taking all possible measures to combat it. Strict legal action is being initiated against those, including government bodies, failing to comply with the environment protection laws under the existing provisions." "Legal action against government bodies is being initiated under the provisions of Section 48 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Section 41 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Section 17 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. All these existing laws deal with the offences (non-compliance of environment protection laws) by government departments," he said.
The BSPCB on Tuesday served notice to the Bihta Municipal Council for non-compliance with environment protection laws, he said.
The pollution control board has already issued instructions to district administrations concerned to strictly enforce laws to check air pollution in their respective areas, Shukla said.
He said the sections of the three above-mentioned Acts state that the head of the department shall be deemed guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be prosecuted against and punished accordingly.
"All district magistrates concerned have been asked to identify (pollution) hotspots in their respective districts. All departments concerned have been instructed to depute a nodal officer who will communicate daily with the BSPCB control room on the action taken on the hotspots," the official said.
To prohibit uncovered constructions, waste burning, open stockpiles of construction materials along roads, provisions of Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) can be initiated against the violators, he added. PTI PKD ACD