NGT tells CPCB to take call on applications by railway stations seeking permission to operate

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board to take a call on applications put forth by railway stations seeking requisite permission to operate, within six months.

A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel noted that out of 720 major railway stations across the country, only 11 had applied for consent under relevant Water and Air Acts and three had applied for authorisation under the Environment Act.

“The railway board may have its own monitoring mechanism at different levels, including headquarters for compiling information of status of compliance of environmental laws. The remaining major railway stations may apply for requisite consents or authorisation within three months. The decision on consents or authorisations be taken within three months thereafter,” the Bench said.

The green panel also directed the State pollution control boards to ensure that solid waste and plastic waste collected from compartments be brought to destined stations, processed and disposed as per norms laid down.

“With regard to sewage, no faecal matter is disposed at stations. Bio-toilets are properly evacuated and sewage taken to STP [Sewage Treatment Plant]. Treated and disinfected effluent if used for non-potable use,” it said.

The directions came when the green panel was hearing a plea moved by petitioner Saloni Singh and Arush Pathania seeking steps to curb pollution on railway properties and on tracks.

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