HC seeks report from Meghalaya on steps to control pollutants

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Shillong, March 31: Taking suo moto action on the CAG report on air, water and environmental pollution in Meghalaya, the Gauhati High Court has sought clarification from the state government on steps taken to manage the pollutants.
The Shillong Bench of the Gauhati High Court has directed the state government, on Thursday last, to provide details of the steps taken by it to monitor, control and manage air, water and waste pollution in the state, within three weeks.
The court said the direction came in the wake of the CAG report in which 28 of the 31 water bodies in six districts of Meghalaya have been declared “unfit” for drinking.
“It is seen that the CAG has come down heavily on the inability of the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) for not being able to conduct regular monitoring of water bodies in the state resulting in the water bodies being deemed unfit for consumption,” the order stated.
In its order, the court also expressed grave concern over the poor compliance of rules by the Shillong Municipal Board and healthcare establishments coupled with the ineffective monitoring by the MSPCB which has resulted in continued environmental pollution and health hazards leading to increase in the number of patients suffering from air- and water- borne diseases.
The CAG had stated that 139 of the 178 health institutions in Meghalaya were found “guilty” of functioning without proper authorization from the state pollution control board.
“This matter has captured the attention of the Court which has viewed it with great concern,” the directive said.
Advocate S P Mahanta was appointed as amicus curiae while senior government advocate N D Chullai accepted the court notice on behalf of the state government.
The matter will come up for hearing later in April.


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