1,095 people violates Environment rules in Andhra Pradesh

AP tops the list of environment crimes in South.

Visakhapatnam: When it comes to number of people arrested on account of violating environment related norms, Andhra Pradesh is highest in the South with 1,095 people. It is the third highest in the country after Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The number of environment crimes has also increased in the state from 117 cases in 2014 to 181 cases in 2015, according to the recent annual report of National Crime Record Bureau. The environmental crimes included offences related to violation of the Indian Forest Act 1927, Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Environmental (Protection) Act 1986, Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act 1981 and Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

About 98 per cent (177) of the total 181 cases filed in 2015 in the state was on account of violation of the Forest Act that mainly includes felling of trees or illegally moving of forest produce.

Ironically, only one offence each was reported for breaching Environment Protection Act and Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act. Moreover, not a lone case was filed for violation under Air Pollution Prevention Act and only two offences recorded under Wildlife Protection Act in the entire state. A forest official said sandalwood smuggling in the state could have increased the number of cases.

Additional principal chief conservator of forests N. Prateep Kumar however pointed out that proper vigilance by the forest personnel could have led to the increase in the people arrested in the state.

“There are violations, but bringing the offenders to task and report them is very necessary to check crimes,” he added.

Environmentalist E.A.S. Sarma says the AP Pollution Control Board, being a statutory body, is unable to exercise its power due to various reasons.

Environmentalists have already expressed concern over the state government’s new policies. APPCB member secretary V.S.R.K. Prasad admitted that there are violations from some industries, but said advent of new technologies to treat industry waste had largely helped to check pollution.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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