The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Indian Railways to ensure that railway stations across the country receive all the necessary environmental permissions as they continue to remain polluted due to various activities.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, applies to major railway stations. The rules under the act focus on waste, solid waste, construction and debris waste, etc.
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The NGT has directed the Railways to take into consideration the suggestions made by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on implementing the two major environmental acts. These are the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
Earlier this year, the NGT had directed the railways to develop at least 36 stations as eco-smart stations. According to CPCB, out of 36 stations, only 5 of them are in the ‘good’ category, namely Vadodara, Mysuru, Jaipur, Bilaspur and Visakhapatnam.
NGT has stressed that there is an immediate need for an effective action plan and a monitoring mechanism at all railway stations to keep a check on all pollution-causing activities.