ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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three years later. Last year the ministry with the pollution board prepared a l .t of 17 categories of *most poll ting' industries giving them a tight deadline for enforcing pollution standards. January 1993 was declared the compliance month and a cell has been set up in the Central Water Pollution Board to monitor the results. Sometime around then the ministry also released a well- documented manual to avert Bhopal-type industrial disasters listing some 436 chemical industries and detailing model off-site and on site disaster management plans. There is therefore tons of material on how to prevent disasters and accidents and to cope with them if they do occur. Only each of these moves have brought a baggage of confusing lines of responsibility and a network of loopholes. Moreover, the state's lack of sincerity is indicated by the fact that it has consistently failed to allocate sufficient financial and other resources for the monitoring agencies it has set up. According to the recent report of a committee headed by M Belliappa, chairman, TNPCB, set up to examine the need for an all-India en vironmental service, most state PCBs function at sub-optimal levels because of insufficient financial support. Add to this the legal system's spectacular failure to uphold people's rights time and again on the issue of industrial negligence where the trend has been to succumb to the argument that rendering private investment idle is a greater tragedy than endangering people's safety.

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