The Orissa High Court issued notice to the State government over appointment of bureaucrats as chairman and member secretary of the State Pollution Control Board for the past 10 years.

Pradyumna Satpathy, a social activist, had moved the HC drawing attention that “as per the Section 4 of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and Sec 5 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) 1981, there is provision for appointment of full time member secretary and nomination of full time or part time chairman by the State government. But, for last more than 10 years, the posts of OSPCB are filled up from the cadres of IAS and IFS respectively without adhering to any selection procedure”.

Stating that the same was the case in many other States, he pointed out that a case was filed in the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, since the posts require scientific and engineering or management qualification and experience. The NGT made a similar observation in its 2016 order.

He added that in September 2017, the Supreme Court had directed the State governments to formulate policy regarding the qualification and experience for these posts within six months.

A Division Bench of the HC, comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Judge Dr. B.R. Sarangi, directed to issue notice to the Chief Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary (Forest and Environment).

The State has been told to file its reply by October 5.

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