One wonders why the administration should have to wait for the High Court’s directive to act on an issue that it is obligated to act upon anyway. In the latest instance, the HC has directed the Department of Environment (DoE) to take several actions to reduce pollution, in the capital in particular. The HC deserves our thanks for their active role in protecting the environment and our rivers.
Not all the illegal brick kilns around the capital and across the country have been closed. More than 200 of these are still running, and they are one of the biggest dangers to our environment that affect the flora, fauna and human lives. One wonders how they managed to evade the notice of the DoE. The answer is very obvious. These errant operatives couldn’t have acted with impunity without the blessings of some of those whose duty it is to pull up the law breakers. And while one may hold the owners of the brick kilns culpable, we believe that those in the administration with corrupt dispositions, who work in league with the violators, should also be called to account. Mere monetary penalty and closure of the kilns are not enough to stop these people from restarting the kilns later. Harsher punishments may act as deterrent.
The HC has also issued similar directives on other matters in the past, which the authorities should have done on their own long before. Nevertheless, we hope that the HC directive would propel the authorities to act quickly on these directives, beginning with the latest order to reduce pollution.