NGT gives AAP govt. last chance to deposit ₹25 cr. compensation

Govt. failed to take action to curb unregulated plastic use and its safe disposal

Observing that the Delhi government has failed to take enough action to curb the unregulated use of plastic and its safe disposal, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given the State government a “last opportunity” to deposit an interim compensation of ₹25 crore which was directed earlier.

The directions came when a Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel took note of a report filed by the Central Pollution Control Board which said that the Aam Aadmi Party government had not deposited the amount which the tribunal had directed in December 2018.

‘No serious exercise’

“Even though an action-taken report has been filed, the action hardly meets the magnitude of violation. There is no serious exercise of assessing the cost of damage to the environment and the cost of restoration. It is also not clear whether the polluting activities have been stopped,” the Bench observed.

Noting that out of more than 30,000 identified polluters, action has been taken against “hardly 150 vehicles” the Bench observed, “The action taken against identified polluters by way of prosecution and recovery of deterrent compensation is hardly adequate for meaningful enforcement of rule of law and protection of environment and pubic health.”

The report submitted to the tribunal had stated that a sum of ₹6.40 lakh was recovered for the release of 150 impounded vehicles “found engaged in transporting pollutants.”

Seeks monthly details

Directing the Delhi Chief Secretary to be present before the tribunal on August 5, the Bench directed authorities to file an affidavit with month-wise details of the action taken.

Referring to the December 2018 hearing, the green panel observed, “It was again noted that in violation of order of the Supreme Court passed more than 14 years ago, unregulated handling of plastic, including burning thereof, was continuing imperiling the health of the citizens and the environment. The report from authorities placed on record itself shows carrying on of illegal activities and creation of unhealthy [and] unhygienic conditions.”

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 3:17:12 PM |

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