Jammu Tawi, April 24
A Division Bench of State High Court Comprising Chief Justice Baddar Durez Ahmed and Justice Alok Aradhe after Adv Rajinder Singh Jamwal in person whereas Govt Adv Ahtsham Bhat appearing for the state observed that Status Report submitted by the counsel for the respondents is taken on record and after going through the data submitted along with the Status Report, it appears that insofar as the PM 2.5 levels are concerned, they are within the prescribed standard. However, the PM 10 (RSPM) is beyond the standard prescribed. The SPM levels are also beyond the standard prescribed. Dr. Yash Paul, Head Laboratory, State Pollution Control Board, Jammu & State Board Analyst is present. He has taken us through the data and explained the significance of the various elements of the data with regard to the ambient air quality. It appears that there are only three Monitoring Stations in Jammu. There is a proposal for a total of nine Monitoring Stations. We are informed that six more Monitoring Stations had been subjected to a global tender, which has not fructified. A proposal for re-tendering is under way. Upon this Division Bench directed that the details of the re-tendering shall be placed before this Court before the next date of hearing.
In a Public Interest Litigation the poor working of State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has been highlighted especially there is hardly any arrangement for testing the quality of air. The PIL was filed by Advocate Rajinder Singh Jamwal regarding highlighting the poor working of State Pollution Control Board. The petition pointed out that in the absence of pollution check at government laboratory level most of the industrial units have seek help from private laboratories for getting the sample tested which is in violation of law because no authenticity has been attached to these reports. Division Bench further said that the respondents shall also indicate, whether the equipments that are available in the Monitoring Stations are as per the prescribed standard of the Central Pollution Control Board. Dr. Yash Paul has also informed us that the major contributor for the high levels of PM 10 (RSPM) and SPM is vehicular pollution and also submit an affidavit indicating, as to what measures are being taken/proposed to be taken for reducing the vehicular pollution so that the PM 10 levels fall below the maximum prescribed standard.
Division Bench further said that before the next date of hearing, the respondents shall also submit a Chart indicating the pollution levels throughout the year 2016-17 (last year).
Division Bench further observed that insofar as the analysis of the water of the River Tawi is concerned, this Court found that the same is polluted and many parameters are beyond the maximum prescribed. Essentially, the pollution in the River Tawi is caused by the sewage from the city flowing into the River Tawi.
Division Bench further observed that “we are also informed that the quality of water in the River Tawi at the entry point of the City at Shitli is far superior to the quality of water at the existing point at Surajpur. This is primarily due to the flow of sewage at various points in the City through nallas and other drains into the River Tawi.” Upon this Division Bench said that respondents shall also indicate, as to what measures are being taken to treat the sewage before it flows into the River Tawi. The object of the exercise should be that the water quality of the River Tawi as it enters the City and when it leaves the City should be the same and should be within the prescribed standards. JNF
Jammu Tawi, April 24