PUBLIC GRIEVANCE CELL
Public hearing is a quasi-judicial method adopted by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) for resolving the environmental problems in the state. The hearing authority is composed of a retired Judicial Magistrate and other legal and technical officers of the Board. After careful consideration of the representations from both the sides, necessary directions are issued. If the directions are complied with within a time schedule, the case is disposed off. Otherwise, legal actions are taken against the errant unit during subsequent hearings. In the ultimate case, closure order is issued until the unit adopts an adequate precautionary arrangement for control of pollution. In case the complaint is found to be beyond the legal jurisdiction of the Board, necessary suggestion letter or letter of direction are immediately sent to the concerned authorities.
The diagrammatic representation of the process is given below:
To address the increasing public resentment against environmental problems and to minimise the same, the Public Grievance Cell of the Board is functioning since 1994. Due to the increased public awareness about environmental protection, several complaints are received from individuals and organisations regarding various aspects of environmental pollution. To take appropriate actions against these complaints, an active Public Grievance Cell is functioning at the head office of the Board located at Paribesh Bhawan, Salt Lake City.
The cell is fully computerised and all complaints received in the public grievance cell are acknowledged, enquired into, inspected and redressed in a hearing in the presence of complainant and the industry concerned. Every Saturday, a public hearing is organised at Paribesh Bhawan where the aggrieved complainant and the industry concerned are asked to appear before the hearing authority. Everyone is given an equal opportunity of being heard.
The Board has computerised the process of registering public complaints, which helps to provide a clear insight of the number and nature of the complaints received. This further facilitates to identify the specific pollution problems existing in the different districts. For instance, a trend analysis of the complaints shows that more than 50 per cent of the complaints are related to air pollution. This gives a clear indication that effective steps need to be taken towards the implementation of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 in the state.
A synopsis of the public
complaints against the different categories of
industries is graphically represented below. The WBPCB
also initiates penal actions against the defaulting
units. For instance, the units that violate the legal
standards and do not appear for the hearing given by
the WBPCB are directed to close down. Bank guarantees
are imposed on the units with a condition that should
they again violate, the units would be closed down and
the bank guarantees forfeited. Click here to view the present
status of such penal actions.
Do you have a
complaint to Lodge?
Please write to :