CAG Report Slams Bihar State Pollution Control Board

08/04/2015 2:36 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
An Indian man works on the roof of a factory as smoke rises from another factory at an industrial area in Ahmadabad, India, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. India says it is taking bold steps against climate change with plans for a five-fold increase in renewable energy capacity. However, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the country won't act to curb carbon emissions because it first must pursue economic growth to eradicate poverty. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

PATNA — The CAG has slammed the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) for neither conducting any survey to identify the polluting industries in the state, nor maintaining any such inventory for planning purposes.

Branding the board as virtually a failure on all fronts, the report says it could not draw up any comprehensive plan for preventing or controlling water and air pollution in the state.

In its performance audit report on state government departments, the CAG said BSPCB has not maintained 'consent register', due to which information related to total number of consents to industries and installations could not be scrutinised.

The voluminous report covering general, social and economic sectors was tabled by Bihar Finance Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav in the state legislature yesterday.

It pointed out that the Board failed to assess the requirement of Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) in the state and the laxity in implementing pollution control measures has resulted in a situation in which out of 140 local bodies in the state, only four such bodies in four districts had STP.

"BSPCB did not initiate any action under to the pollution control Acts to treat the flow of sewage water in remaining 34 districts of Bihar. Further, out of existing seven STP, two were non-functional and five were not working according to their potential," the report states.

The report revealed that "almost all municipal authorities in the state are not complying with the provisions of Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2000 and BSPCB failed to issue directions to all of them."

It mentioned that 1299 out of 2538 identified health care establishments and all veterinary institutions under the jurisdiction of Animal and Fisheries Resources Department were functioning without authorisation from the BSPCB in violation of the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998.

"The Board's central laboratory in Patna was functioning without its accreditation under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, ISO 17025/9001 certification, and without required equipment or instruments to analyse hazardous wastes," the report said.

The CAG report recommended that BSPCB should conduct a survey of industries in the state and plan a comprehensive programme for prevention, control of pollution.

It has also recommended that the Board should take steps to recover outstanding water cess from the local bodies, and also maintain a consent register for keeping details of industries discharging sewage into a water body or polluting air in the state and other related issues.

As far as air quality monitoring is concerned, the Board procured equipment worth Rs 1.18 crore to set-up Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) at Bhagalpur, Bettiah, Purnia, Darbhanga, Rajgir and Sasaram.

"But the equipment were not installed in the absence of infrastructure facilities resulting in expiry of warranty period of the equipment," says the report.

The report also points out that BSPCB Chairman Subhash Chandra Singh replied that the equipment was purchased in anticipation of the approval of manpower for such operation, which was sent to the state government in 2011-12. The approval was still awaited.

Singh did not comment on the report, saying he was in New Delhi to attend some conference.

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