NGT asks CPCB to issue guidelines for poultry farms with over 5,000 birds

PTI | | Updated on: Dec 15, 2021

The Tribunal was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Gauri Maulekhi against the alleged inadequacy of the regulatory regime by way of the consent mechanism under the Water and Air Acts to prevent the degradation of the environment on account of unregulated operation of poultry farms (File photo) | Photo Credit: ASHOK R

Says their owners cannot be considered small farmers nor their pollution potential left unregulated

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to issue guidelines for poultry farms with more than 5,000 birds, saying their owners cannot be considered small farmers nor their pollution potential left unregulated.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the argument that poultry farms with less than 25,000 birds are run by small farmers in the unorganised sector is untenable and against the precautionary principle of environmental law. It said regulation of all poultry farms having more than 5,000 birds is necessary.

“To this extent, decision of CPCB being against the decision of this Tribunal and against precautionary principle. A person running a poultry farm of more than 5,000 birds cannot be said to be small farmer nor their pollution potential left unregulated,” the bench said in its order dated December 10.

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“At best some time can be given for regulation in phased manner as proposed in March 2021 proposed guidelines. Accordingly, we direct that while the impugned guidelines be immediately enforced, all poultry farms above 5,000 birds will also be covered by the said guidelines latest from January 1, 2023,” the bench added.

The siting criteria should apply to all consents or renewals hereafter for the above-mentioned size of poultry farms, it said. The CPCB may issue revised guidelines to all state pollution control boards in terms of the above order within a month, the NGT said.

The Tribunal was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Gauri Maulekhi against the alleged inadequacy of the regulatory regime by way of the consent mechanism under the Water and Air Acts to prevent the degradation of the environment on account of unregulated operation of poultry farms.

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The NGT had earlier directed the CPCB to revisit the guidelines for classifying poultry farms as a green category industry and exempting their regulation under various laws. It had also asked the CPCB to issue appropriate orders within three months.

In case no further order is issued, it had said, all State pollution control boards would require enforcement of consent mechanism under the Air, Water and Environment Protection Acts.

Published on December 15, 2021
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