The Sikkim High Court recently directed the state to inform as to when would a Nodal Agency comprising of experts shall be constituted in order to study the situation at ground level regarding the depletion of ground water within the areas where the pharmaceutical companies are carrying out their manufacturing activities.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder and Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai heard a Suo Moto Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the matter of discharge of Effluents by Pharma Companies situated a Singtam.
At the time of the hearing, the Court was taken through various pleadings including the preliminary report of the amicus curiae dated 26th February, 2022, wherefrom the Bench noted that the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department, in a letter dated 7th February, 2022, has mentioned that it has responsibility to supply water only in the urban areas of the State
As all pharmaceutical companies fall under rural areas, the authorities under the Rural Development Department may be able to give specific information regarding the issue at hand.
The Court likes to know from the Additional Advocate General about the details of letter written on 7th February 2022,in the next hearing.
In short, where from the PHE Department came up with the assertion that it has been given responsibility by the State Government to supply water only in the urban areas of the State while excluding rural areas.
The court has also asked for the relevant Government order/notification in this regard that have to be produced on the next date by the learned Additional Advocate General,as directed by the Court.
“On the next date, the learned Additional Advocate General shall also intimate this Court as to when a Nodal Agency/Committee shall be constituted comprising of experts in order to study the situation at ground level . The court would also like to be apprised about the steps it propose to take in order to reverse the situation at hand, i.e., depletion of ground water within the areas where the pharmaceutical companies are carrying out their manufacturing/business activities”.