Dushyant Singh Pundir
Chandigarh, January 25
On the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the UT Administration has constituted a three-member committee for utilisation of the Environmental Compensation (EC) Fund available with the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) for restoration of the environment.
Headed by UT Adviser Dharam Pal, other members of the committee include Home Secretary Nitin Kumar Yadav and Secretary, Science and Technology, and Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden Debendra Dalai.
In compliance of the NGT order, the EC fund would be spent on specified activities in line with the guidelines prepared by the Central Pollution Control Board such as strengthening vigilance mechanism, setting up of laboratories for monitoring of environment, to prepare district environment plan, undertaking remediation and study of contaminated sites, etc.
The committee will evaluate and recommend project proposals submitted by CPCC in line with guidelines for utilisation of EC Fund for restoration of environment expeditiously by devising appropriate mechanism.
However, an official said as of now, they had not funds, but the CPCC had sent notices to various organisations and they would soon receive the funds.
For failing to comply with the NGT directions, the CPCC had recently imposed Rs 9.30-crore environmental compensation on the Municipal Corporation and Rs 1.20 crore on the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration.
The CPCC had also served a show-cause notice on the UT Estate Officer, asking why Rs 1.50-crore cost should not be imposed on it.
The environmental compensation of Rs 5.60 crore was imposed on the civic body as the sewage treatment plants (STPs) under the MC were found not complying with the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) levels of under 10 mg/l and faecal coliform levels of under 100 MPN/100 ml.
Further, an environmental compensation of Rs 3 crore had been levied on the MC for its failure to manage and process municipal solid waste of the city. Another Rs 70-lakh cost had been imposed for failing to bioremediate old waste on a 20-acre dumpsite.
The CPCC had further directed the Engineering Department to pay Rs 60 lakh in compensation for not meeting the prescribed norms at the Raipur Kalan-II STP. Another Rs 60-lakh compensation had been levied for N-Choe not being found to be complying with the latest discharge standards.
Where compensation amount will be spent
- Pollution panel recently imposed Rs 9.30-cr environmental compensation on MC and Rs 1.20 cr on UT’s Engg Dept for failing to comply with NGT directions
- Panel will evaluate/recommend proposals submitted by CPCC for utilisation of Environmental Compensation Fund for restoration of environment
- Fund will be spent on activities such as strengthening vigilance mechanism, setting up monitoring labs, preparing district environment plan, study of sites, etc.
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