THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government is gearing up to ensure that companies spend funds set aside under corporate environment responsibility (CER) for preventing environment pollution and environment stability in their respective region.
Sources said many of the companies are currently using the CER funds for organising cultural and entertainment activities. The officials feel there is an urgent need to curb this tendency of companies utilising funds for activities other than environment protection initiatives.
There are clear instructions that the companies should utilise the CER funds for environment protection activities in their respective regions in consultation with district collectors. Under CER, the companies should be taking up a host of activities including tree plantation, cleaning of ponds, streams, canals, promotion of non-conventional energy sources, solar power and scientific waste disposal.
Experts say the companies can play a key role in preventing pollution of air, water and soil. They can add to the quality of environment in the locality.The union environment ministry had formulated guidelines more than a year ago which warranted each corporate to spend a particular amount for CER activities.
The funds were mainly meant for environment protection and management plans in areas coming within the project.One of the reasons behind companies violating the CER norms is the lack of supervision and inspection on the ground. Sources said in most cases there is no inspection worth the name that is carried out after the grant of environment clearance even though the norms call for periodic checks.
The agencies associated with the task including mining and geology and pollution control board often pass the buck....