Tamil Nadu has witnessed an unbelievable 1,220-time rise in the number of environment-related offences, accounting for about half of all offences in the country, as per the national crime records bureau (NCRB) data which was released recently.
As compared to 17 environment-related offences in 2015 and just one the next year, Tamil Nadu recorded 20,914 offences in 2017. This accounted for 49.6% of the total 42,143 offences recorded in the country in the year.
Tamil Nadu is followed by Rajasthan, which recorded 10,122 environment-related offences, and Kerala, 6,780. During the year, the cumulative number of offences in the five southern states was recorded at 28,630.
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However, this humongous rise could be attributed to the inclusion of The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act in the environment category of offences. Of the total 20,914 environmental offences in Tamil Nadu, 20,640 offences were booked under this Act.
A similar trend was also noticed in case of Puducherry, a Union Territory about 150 km from Chennai, which recorded 75 environment-related offences, as compared to only one in 2016 and zero in 2015. In a contrast, Kerala recorded a low of 15 and 28 environment-related cases in 2015 and 2016.
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A lower incidence of environment-related offences was also witnessed in the Northeast, where only 109 such offences have been recorded in 2017. No such offences were recorded in Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Union territories Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli too recorded zero such offences in all these three years.