Adalat reviews issues related to environment in eight districts

Most of the officials in the district administration in eight districts received flak from the Chairman of the Karnataka High Court Legal Services Committee D.V. Shylendra Kumar and member of the committee A.N. Yellappa Reddy at the Regional Lok Adalat to review various issues related to environment here on Wednesday.

The issues included restoration of tanks, solid waste management, bio-medical waste disposal, waste management from slaughterhouses, industrial units, coffee pulping units, tree planting and rejuvenation of water supply catchment, covering Mysore, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Chikmaglur, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.

Lack of coordination on the part of different government departments came to the fore, apart from the typical “bureaucratic apathy” resulting in tardy progress in almost all districts.

The committee members told the officials to show progress in three months or face action on all issues discussed related to environment. Mr. Shylendra Kumar issued directions to the officials to complete the tasks and place the action taken report in the next adalat in three months.

He expressed dissatisfaction when Chamarajanagar Deputy Commissioner K.R. Sundar stated that solid waste management in the City Municipal Council limits in Chamarajanagar, including door-to-door garbage collections, had started in only three wards of the 31. Mr. Reddy pulled up the municipal commissioner for the lack of progress.

The environment engineer attached to the Chamarajanagar CMC also came under fire from the committee members.

Mr. Shylendra Kumar rebuked the officials saying that seeking time to implement the rules related to solid waste management would amount to “infraction of law”.

Chief Executive Officer of the Chamarajanagar Zilla Panchayat Sundar Naik, replying to a query, said that the Total Sanitation Campaign programme to ensure hygiene in the rural areas would be completed in the 120 gram panchayats in the district by 2014.

Mr. Reddy, who mentioned the congregation of people in religious places such as Male Mahadeshwara Hills, said that lack of hygiene could affect the health of people in such pilgrim places.

The officials told the committee that bio-medical waste disposal was being done systematically, owing to a tie-up with an agency in Mysore.

Mr. Reddy asked the officials to take effective steps to evict encroachers from government tanks as the Supreme Court had taken the issue seriously.

Mr. Shylendra Kumar and Mr. Reddy were particular about the 234-acre coffee plantation in the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary given to three parties under lease and whose waste after coffee berry pulping, were polluting the water bodies. Wild animals drank water from those water bodies.

The official of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board too was taken to task for “slackness” in enforcing the regulations.

Mr. Shylendra Kumar asked the forest officials to submit a “vision plan” through an affidavit in three months to control pollution of water sources.

Keywords: Lok Adalat

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