The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is way off the mark. Misleading statistics are being provided. Poor people living around forests are blamed, rather than industrial polluters, errant builders, and illegal miners, when it is well known that when it comes to environmental crime, groups, organisations, and gangs are at work.
..it emerged that the authorities are reluctant to report, and punish, industrial polluters and illegal miners for fear of attracting “bad publicity”, which they hold would harm the economy as investors prefer “less litigant” states…and …pollution control officials often deploy the full might of the law against the deprived communities that are dependent on natural resources for livelihood such as the Adivasis.
In India environmental crimes are registered under the following five laws
a) Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (as amended in 1988)
b) Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
c) Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986
d) Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
e) Forest Act, 1927
Environmental Crimes are a crime against humanity because they threaten our very existence. They can destroy nature’s eco-system, result in unchecked air and water pollution, and are a grave threat to public health.
Besides, environmental crime is connected to other types of crimes, like passport frauds, corruption, money laundering and murder.
True, it’s tough to tackle crimes against the environment because they are not usually committed by individuals, but large gangs, often very organised, and often at a global level. At times governments are liable.
Here are the main types of Environmental Crimes:
1) Trafficking of endangered wildlife, which I have written about here.
2) Indiscriminate and careless deforestation, illegal constructions on hills and river beds.
3) Dumping of hazardous waste like electronic, plastic and factory waste.
4) Illegal and unregulated fishing.
If you hear news like this (Hindustan Times article) which says that Maharashtra tops in environmental crimes, this is the reason:
State government officials said the rise can be attributed to increased vigilance and better enforcement by different government bodies.
What I would like to know is: What is the real level of environmental crime being committed in India today?