Indian Railways directed by NGT to control pollution during loading, unloading of goods; here’s why

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Published: October 17, 2019 5:18 PM

NGT has directed that UP Pollution Control Board may take steps for the recovery of assessed compensation. It was stated that the necessary steps for enforcing the law and precautions be taken within a month to tackle the situation.

NGT has expressed its concerns over the pollution caused across the Indian Railways network

Indian Railways will revise its mechanism in order to control pollution during loading and unloading of goods. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has expressed its concerns over the pollution caused across the Indian Railways network. The NGT has directed Indian Railways to establish a mechanism to address the issues of pollution during the loading and unloading of goods such as cement at rail siding, according to a recent PTI report. A siding is a low-speed track section which is different from a running line, according to rail terminology.

Recently, Justice Adarsh Kumar, NGT Chairperson, was heading a bench and heard a plea filed by an Uttar Pradesh resident against the pollution caused in and around the railway godown in Faizabad, during the process of loading and unloading of cement, fertilizers as well as grains by trucks.

The plea which was filed, alleged that the loading and unloading task was polluting the air and causing respiratory problems for the residents in the area. The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board had earlier issued directions to Indian Railways for constructing a covered shed and to undertake the sprinkling of water in Faizabad in order to control the air pollution, apart from adopting appropriate safety norms in the process of loading and unloading.

NGT also noted that there is a violation of air quality norms by the Indian Railways goods siding at Ayodhya in Faizabad. As per the report provided by the UP pollution control board, the Indian Railway goods siding in Ayodhya was causing air pollution and for the damage caused in terms of air quality, a compensation of Rs 91.2 lakh has been assessed. According to NGT, apart from not following the requirements of taking consent, the railway administration in Faizabad was also not following the measures to be adopted at the loading and unloading points. Hence, it was directed that an appropriate mechanism needs to be made by the Railway Board which will be checked at the Faizabad siding and at the sidings of other locations as well.

Meanwhile, NGT has directed that the UP Pollution Control Board may take steps for the recovery of the assessed compensation. It was also stated during the hearing that the necessary steps for enforcing the law and precautions be taken within one month to tackle the situation. Further, the Railway Board may compile a comprehensive report furnishing information of other such locations and will take necessary steps to solve the issue.

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