Lawmakers accuse Pollution Control Board of corruption

PAHALGAM: Equating pollution with terrorism, members of environment committee of the state assembly on Saturday accused pollution control board (PCB) of corruption.
The lawmakers said that the many recommendations of the environment committee issued from time to time, instead of being implemented, were thrown into dust bin by the implementing agencies.
MLA Homeshalibugh, Abdul Majid Larmi, who is also the member of environment committee of the assembly, said that none of the recommendations of the assembly panel on environment was being implemented.
“Whatever recommendations the committee has put forth from time to time for controlling the polluting, none of them has been implemented. The implementing agencies like environment department and PCB throw our recommendations into dust bin,” Larmi said.
He was speaking at a seminar titled ‘Environment conservation and sustainable development’ organized by the Himalyan welfare organization  (HWO) Pahalgam at townhall here.
He alleged that the pollution control board meant to control the pollution has become a hub of corruption with the pollution level is increasing fast.
“I know a factory owner who without installing any pollution controlling device in his factory managed to obtain NOC from PCB against 2 lakh rupees. This is the level of corruption in the board meant to protect the environment from pollution,” Larmi said.
He said that the pollution being caused by the cement factories in Khrew area of Pampore was badly telling upon the lives of the people.
“Almost all the people of the area are suffering from severe respiratory disorders due to the dust emanating from the factories. Many people there are suffering from cancer. I have no hesitation to say that pollution control board has failed to perform its job,” Larmi said.
Another lawmaker and member of the environment committee, Gulzar Ahmad Wani said that the pollution in the country was posing more threat to the human lives than terrorism. “Life is possible only when environment is safe. The way the environment is being polluted is matter of concern. Situation is very alarming not only in valley but in the entire country,” Wani said.
“Pollution is posing more threat to the life than terrorism as it has no borders. Modi Ji can control the cross border terrorism but not cross border pollution,” Wani said.
Organizer of the seminar and president, HWO, Mushtaq Pahalgami criticised the authorities for failing to take any concrete measures to save the picturesque spot like Pahalgam from being polluted.
“Tons of garbage is being dumped on the banks of a crystal clear water body here. A hotelier recently was caught red handed emptying the waste of the sewage trenches in Lidder river and despite the protests by the people no action was taken against him,” Pahalgami said.