Respite to eco-victims

Published: Wednesday 30 April 1997

the ministry of environment and forests (mef), in collaboration with the General Insurance Corporation of India, is planning to establish an Environment Relief Fund to provide relief to victims of any environmental calamity of industrial origin. This was announced on March 19, by Saroj, joint director, mef. Speaking at a workshop on the management of hazardous waste, Saroj said that the proposed fund would receive contributions from industry.

According to Saroj, the mef would shortly set up a separate tribunal headed by a retired judge to probe environmental issues. If anyone was found guilty, the liability could range from three-years imprisonment or Rs 10 lakh as fine or both, falling under the Environment Protection Act (epa).She pointed out that most industries were not doing their environmental audit which was mandatory under the epa.

Saroj stressed that as a part of the medium level controls of the Hazardous Wastes Rules, industries are required to maintain both on-site and off-site plans to cater to any eventuality and also provide information to the public about the nature of the raw materials being used and the waste being generated.

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