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Water, air pollution: NGT issues notice to Meghalaya

 NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal's eastern zone bench has issued notice to the Meghalaya government over a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on air, water and environmental pollution in the state.

 

Gauhati high court had in 2012 taken suo moto action on the CAG report which had expressed concern over the pollution in the state and subsequently transferred the case to NGT.

 

A green bench comprising judicial member Justice P Jyothimani issued notice to chief secretary of Meghalaya, secretary, Municipal Board and secretary, Department of Health and listed the matter for next hearing on August 26.

 

"Issue notice to the chief secretary, government of Meghalaya, secretary, Municipal Board and secretary, Department of Health by the next date of hearing," the bench said.

 

It directed Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) to file its latest status report on the industries situated in the urban areas and in respect of air and water pollution in the state.

 

The CAG report had said the ambient air quality of capital Shillong and the entire state of Meghalaya in general is "far from satisfactory", mainly because of emission of air pollutants from automobiles.

 

It had, further, said that the extent of pollution of air caused by 481 polluting industries was not monitored by the MSPCB and coal mining activities were carried on in the state without authorisation.

 

"Water of 28 out of 31 water bodies in six districts of the state was not "fit for drinking".

 

"In violation of bio-medical waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 139 (out of 178), health institutions were functioning in the state without authorisation from the MSPCB," the CAG had said.

 

The Times of India (22/07/2014)