New Delhi, Oct 28 (UNI) A Parliamentary Committee on Environment has strongly objected to the dominance in the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) by government representatives and non-scientific staff, saying the composition would hamper its functioning as an environmental watchdog.
The total number of the Board members comes to 15 excluding the Chairman and the Member Secretary. Out of the 15, 12 members are such officials who hold additional charge of CPCB membership.
Out of the 12, five officials represent the government and five are nominated from among the members of the state boards. All the appointments are made by the government.
Further the Pollution Control Act provides that the Central government may remove any member of the Board before the expiry of the term.
''The Committee is of the view that with such a composition dominated by government representataives and constituted by the Central government, CPCB cannot be expected to act as a watchdog of environmental protection,'' the Parliamentary Standing Commitee on Environment and Forests said in its 192nd report.
It has also noted that important posts in the Board were lying vacant as the Act does not prescribe any time limit to fill the vacant posts of the Chairman and other Members.
Moreover, it also note with displeasure that key posts in CPCB and state boards ''who neither possess the necessary capabilities and expertise in properly managing and planning pollution control activities nor have enough time to pay attention to these activities for obvious reasons.'' ''This trend has led to virtual relegation and replacement of technically capable people to place of virtual exile,'' the Committee said.
The panel quoted the report of the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on Hazardous Waste, according to which 77 per cent of the chairpersons and 55 per cent of member secretaries in different state pollution control boards are not qualified enough to hold the post.
''This is a very disturbing trend and this practice needs to be stopped forthwith,'' the Committee observed.
It said chairman and members of CPCB should be persons who have rendered remarkable and distinguished service to the cause of environment, and they should be appointed for a fixed tenure and the sword of removal or terminatioin should not be hanging on their head.
It has also recommended a reduction in the size of present boards, saying that the unweildy size was hampering their functioning.
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