The steps taken by the government are laudable: National Green Tribunal

The State government on Friday submitted before the National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, that it had created a special fund of Rs. 250 crore for solid waste management (SWM) in all local bodies.

Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department told the Bench, comprising judicial member Justice M. Chockalingam and Prof. R. Nagendran, which was hearing a batch of applications, challenging the location of SWM facilities in municipalities such as Pallavaram, Tambaram, Rasipuram, Kallakurichi and the proposed facility in Kuthambakkam by the Chennai Corporation. The Bench had earlier directed the Commissioner of Municipal Administration (CMA) to file a report after identifying three sites in each district.

As directed by the Tribunal, V. Murugesan, assistant executive engineer, filed a status report on Municipal Solid Waste Management, describing the steps taken by the department.

S. Saravanan, counsel for the department, said the government had issued orders creating a fund for solid waste management activities for all local bodies by pooling an amount of Rs. 250 crore per annum during the award. “Out of that, an amount of Rs. 150 crore per annum shall be pooled as a separate fund for local bodies and Rs. 100 crore per annum for urban local bodies. The amount shall be released based on need.”

The government also decided to constitute a project sanctioning committee for approving the projects under the Solid Waste Management Fund under the chairmanship of Secretary of Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department.

The Commissioner of Municipal Administration was asked to send necessary proposals to the government for creation of posts for the State Level Solid Waste Management Cell. The department was implementing different schemes in 43 urban local bodies for waste management activities.

Recording its appreciation over the steps taken, the Bench said, “The steps taken by the government for creation of a special fund and project sanctioning committee are laudable.”

Posting the matter on October 30 for further hearing, the Bench directed the department to file another status report on its plans in respect of areas which were not covered so far.

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