The law should incorporate pollute and Pay" principle imposing heavy fines on violaters Instead of ruthlessly closing the polluting units." Discuss critically.
‘Polluters pays’ principle is a practice in which those who pollute environment should pay for environmental damage. It is a set of broader principles to guide sustainable development. NITI Aayog in its three-year action agenda suggested for legislative changes increasing minimum fine on polluters from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 crore on the grounds that the present mechanism often leads to either ” no action or drastic action” against violators. In most of the cases, no action is taken until matters reach a crisis point.
CPCB recently ordered the closure of many polluting units. As per NITI Aayog drastic step like closure and cutting electricity\water should be the last resort. Noncompliant should pay for environmental restoration without the threat of closure, as closure will impact the jobs of people. It will also have an impact on the economic growth. Heavy fines will force polluting industries to take corrective measures which currently avoid such measure as fines are very low. As per proposed legislation to amend the existing Environment Protection Act and the National Green Tribunal(NGT) Act, there will be a separate categorization of green violations into ‘minor’, ‘non-substantial’ and ‘substantial’. So fines will be imposed on the basis of the extent of the damage.
There is need to strike a balance between unbounded economic growth and sustainability & if balanced properly economic growth can complement environmental conservation.