This direc­torate needs bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment

The en­vi­ron­ment direc­torate is­sues clear­ances to build­ings, in­dus­tries and of­fices. But its cam­pus ap­par­ently hardly has any­thing that can en­sure a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for its em­ploy­ees and those liv­ing nearby

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - HT METRO - Richa Sri­vas­tava richa.sri­vas­tava@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The bound­ary walls of this of­fice are ‘home’ for garbage of the area. The sign­board out­side is rusted and the writ­ing on it has nearly faded, mak­ing it hard for the vis­i­tors to guess that it is the Direc­torate of En­vi­ron­ment, Ut­tar Pradesh.

With heaps of garbage dumped along its bound­ary wall and the un­kempt lawns within the premises, the of­fice is busy giv­ing en­vi­ron­ment clear­ances to build­ings, in­dus­tries and of­fices.

Be­ing headed by chief min­is­ter Akhilesh Yadav - an ex­pert on en­vi­ron­ment him­self, the state’s en­vi­ron­ment direc­torate at Vi­neet Khand, Gomti Na­gar hardly has any­thing that would en­sure a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for the em­ploy­ees and those liv­ing nearby.

The direc­torate is run­ning sans a full-time di­rec­tor for more than six months now. The di­rec­tor re­tired around March-April and ever since the po­si­tion is be­ing held by an em­ployee hold­ing ad­di­tional charge. Loaded with work of al­low­ing clear­ances to all big es­tab­lish­ments - both com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial - be­ing con­structed in the state, the of­fice faces an acute staff crunch.

There are only about four of­fi­cers and about a hand­ful other staff mem­bers who are han­dling the nu­mer­ous formalities re­gard­ing clear­ances and other en­vi­ron­ment re­lated ini­tia­tives, said sources at the of­fice. The same of­fice is also han­dling clear­ances re­lat­ing to min­ing, added sources.

A lab­o­ra­tory that was pro­posed here years ago is yet to take its fi­nal shape. There is no equip­ment and no ded­i­cated staff to look into the af­fairs of the lab­o­ra­tory. The bud­get for the lab­o­ra­tory was pro­posed for this fi­nan­cial year and part of it has been sanc­tioned, said sources.

Boast­ing of pro­mot­ing en­vi­ron­ment-friendly ini­tia­tives, the of­fice has not even main­tained its lawns for a long time. The grass has not been trimmed and the ponds are ei­ther fun­gus filled or have been left dry.

DEEPAK GUPTA/HT PHO­TOS

(Clock­wise from top) A fun­gus-filled pond on the cam­pus; the rusted sign­board; and the filthy drainage sys­tem.

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