Chief Secretary to appear before NGT on March 20

State government yet to implement tribunal’s recommendations on solid waste management

Chief Secretary Tom Jose will appear before the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi on March 20 to explain the steps being taken by the State government to comply with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

“The matter [failure to comply with the rules] is to be considered further in relation to the State of Kerala on March 20, 2020, when the Chief Secretary, Kerala, is scheduled to appear in person. The State of Kerala needs to consider action on the pattern of successful models of other States, where meaningful steps to deal with the issue have been initiated in consultation with the CPCB [Central Pollution Control Board],” said an order issued by the Bench comprising NGT Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel and expert members Nagin Nanda and Siddhanta Das.

The directive was issued by the tribunal on February 28 while hearing the case (original application no. 514/2019) on non-compliance with Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, causing huge pollution at the Brahmapuram solid waste processing plant. The Bench also referred to the report filed by A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai, Chairman of the State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) constituted by the NGT (in original application no. 606/2018) to oversee compliance with directions on the issue of solid waste management in the State. He had submitted a detailed report to the tribunal on unscientific dumping of waste at Brahmapuram after the massive fire breakout at the site on February 18.

The Secretary, Urban Affairs, Kerala, was present at the hearing held on February 28 on a specific directive issued by the tribunal on January 24.

“A status report was filed on February 27 to the effect that certain steps had been taken. The fact remains that there is no progress in terms of actual remedial measures as expected and as required under the rules,” pointed out the NGT order. The Bench said that non-compliance with rules relating to waste disposal would result in damage to the environment and public health. “Any failure needs to be visited with assessment and recovery of compensation for such damage from the persons responsible for such failure,” it added.

The Bench had reiterated that each local body would have to pay a compensation of ₹10 lakh per month (for population of above 10 lakh); ₹5 lakh a month (for population between 5 lakh and 10 lakh), and ₹1 lakh per month for other local bodies for non-compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 from April 1. This compensation will be equally applicable to local bodies found erring on the issue of remediation of legacy waste.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 10:13:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/chief-secretary-to-appear-before-ngt-on-march-20/article31005031.ece

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