The principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi on Wednesday pulled up the Kerala State Pollution Control Board for not filing an affidavit with specific information on the previous and present work undertaken to check pollution in the Periyar.
Apart from asking the board to file another affidavit with all relevant information, the tribunal directed it to deposit Rs. 1 lakh with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), failure of which could attract “exemplary penalty”, among others.
According to the board’s Chief Environmental Engineer M.A. Baiju, the board is already in the process of preparing a fresh affidavit. The previous affidavit pertained more to work undertaken for Kuzhikandam Thodu, and not the entire river stretch, he said.
Earlier, on September 26, the tribunal had noted that the pollution of the river was “serious and requires regular monitoring,” with the CPCB identifying industries that discharged effluents into the river.
To enable a mechanism for monitoring pollution levels, the tribunal had directed the board to file an affidavit recording the current status of work and those undertaken earlier. The tribunal also specified clearly in its order that the entire catchment area of the river should be considered for the purpose.
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