The National Human Rights Commission of India, led by Mr. Justice Arun Kumar Mishra, has issued an advisory to the Centre and State Governments on how to prevent, minimise, and mitigate the negative effects of environmental pollution and degradation on human rights.
In consultation with domain experts, the Commission completed the Advisory by analysing the effects of air and water pollution, as well as environmental deterioration, on the enjoyment of essential human rights.
In issuing the advisory, the Commission noted that, despite having one of the best legal and policy frameworks in the world for environmental protection, India is grappling with a serious problem of air and water pollution and ecological degradation, which is obstructing the enjoyment of basic human rights.
In consultation with domain experts, the Commission completed the recommendation by analysing the consequences of air and water pollution, as well as environmental deterioration, on basic human rights.
The Commission has asked for the implementation of its recommendations in the advisory and requested an Action Taken Report (ATR) within three months in a letter to the secretaries of the concerned Union ministries/departments, chief secretaries of states, administrators of UTs, and registrars of all high courts.
The recommendation has advised governments to ensure, among other things, that polluters and environmental law violators be punished effectively and quickly.
Strengthening Pollution Control Boards (PCBs) and other regulatory authorities, as well as the establishment of distinct investigation and prosecution wings, should all be part of these efforts.In a letter to the Secretaries of concerned Union Ministries/Departments, Chief Secretaries of States and Administrators of Union Territories, and the Registrars of all High Courts, the Commission requested that the recommendations in the Advisory be implemented and an Action Taken Report be submitted within three months.
The Advisory has focused on five major areas where the Centre and State Governments should take action:
- Punishment of polluters and environmental law violators Prevention and Reduction of vehicle pollution.
- Informed, transparent, and nonpartisan processing of proposals requesting clearances/approvals stipulated by various environmental laws.
- The Union and State Governments should create public awareness through print, electronic and social media about best practices on prevention, minimization and mitigation of environmental pollution and degradation
- Methods necessary for the creation, promotion, dissemination, and replication of cost-effective innovative measures to avoid, minimise, and mitigate environmental pollution and degradation.
- The strengthening and capacity building of local governments, each local body should establish an environmental cell to plan, supervise and monitor various activities to prevent, minimize and mitigate environmental pollution/degradation and for waste management.
The meeting was headed by Mr. HC Chaudhary, Joint Secretary, NHRC, it was attended by other members of the NHRC such as Mr. Justice M.M. Kumar, Mrs Jyotika Kalra, Dr. D.M. Mulay, Mrs Anita Sinha and other dignitaries.