Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board is diluting the implementation of RTI act by giving incomplete and irrelevant information to applicants and also denying information under 8 d frequently. They are protecting the violators rather than the people who are subjected to pollution from industries. This is my own experience and that of others I know.
Hexavalent chromium is a highly toxic poison and strictly regulated all over the world. Here in Andhra Pradesh, industries producing chromium chemicals by outdated technology are generating about 10000 tonnes per annum of waste containing hexavalent chromium that is detrimental to all forms of life. It is being stocked in the plant premises in violation of environmental regulations without proper protections. One plant has stocked about 30000 tonnes in an open area. Hema Chemicals in Ahmedabad, Golden Chemicals in Dahisar, and Tamilnadu chromates in Ranipet have severly polluted the land and groundwater all around their plant. Several workers have died of lung cancer and many had nasal perforations, amputations etc.
Exposure of workers to chromium dust is neither monitored nor controlled with industrial hygiene measures. Permissions for operation are issued without proper assessment of the dangers. Recent permission was issued after complaint from several citizens was pending.
I have raised a number of questions and sought information and they have not given proper information. I had to continue asking further specific questions that expose the failure of APPCB as a regulatory authority.
Now I get a letter saying that the companies have replied requesting the board not to reveal the information/ records to the third party under section 8 (d) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
Now I am giving first appeal. Any specific orders from any state information commission dealing with pollution cases may be brought to my notice for strengthening my appeal.