By LE Desk

New Delhi, June 20, 2021: Coming down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government, the NGT has said it seems the state authorities consider themselves above the law and continue to violate it to the detriment of public health, describing it as a very unfortunate situation that needs remedial action. 

Noting failure of the authorities in ensuring scientific disposal of solid garbage, causing damage to the air quality and public health, the National Green Tribunal directed the UP pollution control board (PCB) and the Bijnor district magistrate to ensure management of waste.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel made clear that if no satisfactory action is taken in terms of these directions, it would take coercive measures against the concerned officials, news agency PTI reported.

“It is seen that the issue of scientific management of waste and to prevent air and land pollution has not been gone into. Nothing is mentioned about the arrangement for disposal of carcasses. In fact, the photographs annexed to the report show that waste is laying dumped in an unscientific manner and without safeguards against the air pollution and foul smell,” the bench said.

The NGT said that under Rule 15 of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, a plan had to be prepared for scientific disposal of the solid waste in the manner laid down therein in accordance with the state policy prepared under Rule 11 by the Secretary, Urban Development.

“Unfortunately, it appears that even after five years of the current Rules and after 40 years of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, (Air Act), there is a failure of the authorities in ensuring scientific disposal of solid waste, preventing damage to the air quality and to public health. Failure to perform statutory obligation under SWM Rules, 2016 is a criminal offence under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (EP Act) punishable with imprisonment and fine,” the bench said.

The tribunal directed District Magistrate Bijnor in coordination with Municipal Council and any other concerned authority to ensure effective steps for scientific management of the waste, ensuring that no foul smell and air or land pollution takes place.

The green panel directed the state pollution control board and the District Magistrate Bijnor to file compliance report by e-mail, reported PTI.

“The reports may particularly mention the quantity of waste dumped on the present site or other sites in the area, whether practice adopted for management of carcasses is in accordance with the guidelines of CPCB.

“District Magistrate may specify whether of waste disposal is covered by the District Environment Management Plan,” the bench said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by UP resident Arvind Kumar and others against unscientific dumping of waste at main road of village Changipur, District Bijnor by the Municipal Council, Noorpur.

The waste includes carcasses which is resulting in foul and obnoxious smell and also air and land pollution, it said. In spite of representations made to the Municipal Council, no remedial action has been taken, the plea alleged.

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