Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (PCB) has filed a criminal case in the Judicial Magistrate’s Court here against the Bhopal Divisional Railway Manager Alok Kumar under relevant sections of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974 as railway coaches were being washed in the washing pit and the waste was being discharged without proper treatment.
The DRM has been accused of violating the Water pollution Act and not responding to the notice served by the PCB
The PCB has held the Railways criminally responsible on one more count. Another charge listed in the case filed against the DRM is that the laundary being managed by the Bhopal Railway Dvision was running without the permission the mandatory permission. Even waste water with lint, soil, dyes, finishing agents, and other chemicals from detergents was being discharged without treatment and this was polluting the water system and leading to eutrophication.
The PCB has slapped charges against the Railways under Sections 25, 23 and 48 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.
Section 25 of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act:
RESTRICTIONS ON NEW OUTLETS AND NEW DISCHARGES
6[(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, no person shall, without the previous consent of the State Board,–
(a) establish or take any steps to establish any industry, operation or process, or any treatment and disposal system or an extension or addition thereto, which is likely to discharge sewage or trade effluent into a stream or well or sewer or on land (such discharge being hereafter in this section referred to as discharge of sewage); or
(b) bring into use any new or altered outlets for the discharge of sewage; or
(c) begin to make any new discharge of sewage;
Provided that a person in the process of taking any steps to establish any industry, operation or process immediately before the commencement of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act, 1988, for which no consent was necessary prior to such commencement or, if he has made an application for such consent, within the said period of three months, till the disposal of such application.
(2) An application for consent of the State Board under sub-section (1) shall be made in such form, contain such particulars and shall be accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed.
(3) The State Board may make such inquiry as it may deem fit in respect of the application for consent referred to in sub-section (1) and in making any such inquiry shall follow such procedure as may be prescribed.
7[(4) The State Board may —
(a) grant its consent referred to in sub-section (1), subject to such conditions as it may impose, being–
(i) in cases referred to in clauses (a) and (b) of sub-section (1) of section 25, conditions as to the point of discharge of sewage or as to the use of that outlet or any other outlet for discharge of sewage;
(ii) in the case of a new discharge, conditions as to the nature and composition, temperature, volume or rate of discharge of the effluent from the land or premises from which the discharge or new discharge is to be made; and
(iii) that the consent will be valid only for such period as may be specified in the order,
and any such conditions imposed shall be binding on any person establishing or taking any steps to establish any industry, operation or process, or treatment and disposal system or extension or addition thereto, or using the new or altered outlet, or discharging the effluent from the land or premises aforesaid; or
(b) refuse such consent for reasons to be recorded in writing.
(5) Where, without the consent of the State Board, any industry operation or process, or any treatment and disposal system or any extension or addition thereto, is established, or any steps for such establishment have been taken or a new or altered outlet is brought into use for the discharge of sewage or a new discharge of sewage is made, the State Board may serve on the person who has established or taken steps to establish any industry, operation or process, or any treatment and disposal system or any extension or addition thereto, or using the outlet, or making the discharge, as the case may be, a notice imposing any such conditions as it might have imposed on an application for its consent in respect of such establishment, such outlet or discharge.
(6) Every State Board shall maintain a register containing particulars or conditions imposed under this section and so much of the register as relates to any outlet, or to any effluent, from any land or premises shall be open to inspection at all reasonable hours by any person interested in, or affected by such outlet, land or premises, as the case may be, or by any person authorised by him in this behalf and the conditions so contained in such register shall be conclusive proof that the consent was granted subject such conditions]
(7) The consent referred to in sub-section (1) shall, unless given or refused earlier, be deemed to have been given unconditionally on the expiry of a period of four months of the making of an application in this behalf complete in all respects to the State Board.
(8) For the purposes of this section and sections 27 and 30 —
(a) the expression “new or altered outlet” means any outlet which is wholly or partly constructed on or after the commencement of this Act or which (whether so constructed or not) is substantially altered after such commencement;
(b) the expression “new discharge” means a discharge which is not, as respects the nature and composition, temperature, volume, and rate of discharge of the effluent substantially a continuation of a discharge made within the preceding twelve months (whether by the same or different outlet), so however that a discharge which is in other respects a continuation of previous discharge made as aforesaid shall not be deemed to be a new discharge by reason of any reduction of the temperature or volume or rate of discharge of the effluent as compared with the previous discharge.
Section 44. PENALTY FOR CONTRAVENTION OF SECTION 25 OR SECTION 26
Whoever contravenes the provision of section 25 or section 26 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than [two years] but which may extend to six years and with fine.
Section 48. OFFENCES BY GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS
Where an offence under this Act has been committed by any Department of Government, the Head of the Department shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:
Provided that nothing contained in this section shall render such Head of the Department liable to any punishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.