NGT directs Delhi govt, Municipal Corporations to remediate legacy waste dumpsites

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2021 21:28 IST

New Delhi [India], February 1 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Delhi government and the municipal corporations concerned, to coordinate and execute the work of remediating the legacy waste dumpsites of Bhalswa, Ghazipur and Okhla, for enforcing the rule of law and protection of the environment and public health.
NGT's direction came while disposing of an application that said the dumpsites of Delhi, where huge garbage has accumulated over the period of time, adversely impacts the public health and environment, and are in requirement of emergent, scientific and environmentally safe disposal, as per applicable rules.
The bench headed by NGT Chairman Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel in an order passed on January 29 stated, "Due care has to be taken for preventing fire accidents on the landfill sites and maintaining the stability of the dumps".
"...The Chief Secretary, Delhi, may continue to hold meetings for coordination with all the stake-holders, at least once in a month, as earlier directed to device ways and means to expedite the pending work, including coercive measures against those responsible for the delay. The CPCB is at liberty to recover the compensation already assessed, with further compensation for continuing damage till compliance of the law, following due process of law. The amount of recovered compensation should be spent on restoration of the environment in Delhi." The bench continued.
NGT said that providing a clean environment is an inalienable constitutional duty of the state authorities and negligence of duty renders such authorities liable to pay compensation on 'Polluter Pays' principle.
"We have perused the report filed by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and UD, NCT (Urban Development, national capital territory). We note that even statutory period under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 for completing all steps specified in Rule 22 will come to an end on April 7. Steps taken can hardly be said to be adequate. This is certainly causing huge damage to the public health and environment which is a matter of serious concern,' it added.
The Tribunal also said the environmental damage is no less than causing physical injuries to the citizens and any welfare State authority must take the matter with the requisite sensitivity, "which unfortunately is not happening."
It also took the note on a media article which reported that the said dumpsites were resulting in huge water contamination, and were not being scientifically managed. The report said that leachate was getting discharged into the soil and also slipping to the River Yamuna, affecting its water quality.
"Accumulation of huge waste at the said sites posed a serious danger to the environment, life and public health in the area," he added. (ANI)

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