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

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara 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".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Global Hunger Index: Govt of India response pathetic, 'lacks' scientific empirical evidence

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* Come 16 October – and the world once again focused on the most basic need for a person’s survival: food! The first World Food Day was observed in 1994, to mark the launch of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Ever since, the day is marked to highlight the need and importance of food security across the world. The significance is accentuated especially in these difficult times like the C-19 povidandemic. The theme for 2021 is ‘Safe Food Now for a Healthier Tomorrow’, emphasising on the various immediate and long-term benefits of consuming safe and healthy food.

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.