Skip to main content

Gujarat govt told: High pollution levels require full-time, technical GPCB chairman

Counterview Desk
Taking a serious view of the state of environment in Gujarat, the state’s top environmental NGO, Paryavaran Mitra, in a letter to the state chief secretary, Dr JN Singh, has sought appointment of full-time technical chairman of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), the state government’s anti-pollution watchdog.
Signed by Mahesh Pandya, director, Paryavaran Mitra, the letter says that of late there is a tendency to appoint IAS officers as chairman of GPCB. Admitting that IAS officers may be good administrators, Pandya claims, they lack technical expertise to handle serious environmental issues bogging Gujarat today.

Text:

Paryavaran Mitra is a Gujarat-based non-profit organization working on socio-environmental issues since 1997. We advocate for new policies and proper implementation of environmental laws. We also follow up the implementation of judgment/directions/guidelines pertaining to the environment/ pollution by the High Court as well as Supreme Court and create public awareness.
Answering to question on “Rise in Pollution Levels” Union Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar in the Lok Sabha (Question No 300, answered on July 12, 2019) gave data on deteriorated ambient air quality and polluted river stretches of India. The data gives state-wise list of 323 polluted river stretches, out of which 23 rivers of Gujarat are highly polluted.
As you know, among other states Gujarat is a highly industrial state and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report from 2010 to 2017 state that pollution levels are high and the waste management system in Gujarat is very poor and state needs proper planning and continuous monitoring for environmental management.
For control of pollution in the state, GPCB is entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring and controlling environmental pollution. It is obvious that for proper functioning of the board, the Chairman would have to be fully involved in the task of environmental construction and planning, and appointment of chairman of GPCB should be on the full time basis.
But in GPCB, after the completion of the tenure of the last chairman, Dr KU Mistry, who was full-time chairman and worked for two terms, the board has been appointing chairman on deputation from different departments who are IAS officers that might be good in administration but they lack technical qualification and experience to protect environment.
Moreover, GPCB has never appointed chairman by open selection process, as required under the Water and Air Act, as well as the directions issued by Supreme Court. We would like to seek your attention to the fact that the nomination of part-time chairman is illegal and in violation of the Water Act as well as Air Act and Supreme Court direction, and request you to appoint full-time Chairman at the earliest through open selection process.
Secondly, we appreciate that, as directed by the Supreme Court of order dated September 22, 2017 and provision of the Water and Air Act, the Government of Gujarat issued the recruitment rules for the post of member-secretary of GPCB and has published advertisement dated October 7, 2019.
But here we would like bring it to your attention that the advertisement states the age limit “to be of at least 35 years in age and not more than 60 years.” As you know, the retirement age in state government is 58 and that of the Central government is 60. How can the upper limit for recruitment be 60 years? As this is an executive post and the tenure of member secretary is 3 years, we suggest the age limit for recruitment of the member secretary to be 35 to 55 years.
We hope that you will consider our suggestions seriously and would welcome further discussion with you for the above issue.
---
The letter has been edited for style

Comments

TRENDING

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.