The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has on May 30 issued a show cause notice to the state government over its failure to appoint chairman and member secretary for the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB), and has sought reply on June 7.
Also, the tribunal has issued show cause notices to state chief secretaries as well the chairmen of various boards who have not been appointed in consonance with the judgment of the tribunal, seeking reply on June 7.
“They shall show cause as to why they should not be asked to cease functioning as chairman of the respective boards,” the order reads.
The state environment department last year in November had invited applications through advertisement, and received around 13 applications for the post of chairman and 9 for the post of member secretary.
A large number of applications for the posts were expected from better qualified candidates. A committee later scrutinised the applications for the posts based on the new NGT guidelines on qualification and experience in the field of environment, but later this year yet another advertisement was issued inviting more applications.
Interestingly, this time, around seven applications were received.
The post of full-time GSPCB chairperson is lying vacant for over a year now, following the resignation Jose Manuel Noronha. The board is now headed by Chief Secretary.
While expressing anguish over defying its earlier order, the NGT has noted that despite the order, which granted three month’s time to boards to make appointment of qualified people to the important posts, the order was flouted.
The NGT last year, in August, had stipulated that only those with a degree in environmental engineering or a degree in pure sciences are eligible for the post of chairperson.
It had also laid down similar conditions for the appointment of the member secretary.
In the order, issued on August 24, in the case of Rajendra Singh Bhandari Vs Union of India and others, the NGT has clarified two important aspects of appointing a chairman viz special knowledge and practical experience.
The state governments were asked to comply within three months.
The order says that the period of three months has elapsed in November 2016 and further period of 6 months has already gone by, but no results have come, as of now.
“We do not expect the state governments not to take action on the orders of the tribunal and to flout the directions issued by it, particularly, in relation to posts of such sensitivity and responsibility, as the entire environmental status of the state would depend on the functioning of the State Pollution Control Board, wherein the chairman and member secretary are the head of the organisation,” says the principal bench of NGT Delhi comprising four