NGT raps states for failure to implement green laws

'Seems state authorities consider themselves above law': NGT raps states for failure to implement green laws

The bench warned that if no satisfactory action is taken in terms of these directions, it would take coercive measures against the concerned officials

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

Pulling up states for failure to effectively implement environment protection law, the National Green Tribunal said it seems state authorities consider themselves above law and continue to violate laws to the detriment of public health which is a very unfortunate situation and needs remedial action.

The NGT Principal Bench headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel made this observation while hearing a petition pertaining to disposal of garbage in Uttar Pradesh.

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

In spite of representations made to the Municipal Council, no remedial action has been taken, the petitioner alleged.

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

Also read: NGT raps Chhattisgarh for not constructing road for transporting coal from mines

The bench warned that if no satisfactory action is taken in terms of these directions, it would take coercive measures against the concerned officials.

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," the Green Bench said.

"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.

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