Illegal waste dumping: SLMC directs police chiefs to act tough

Compensation to be recovered from violators on ‘polluter pays’ principle

The State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on solid waste management constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the District Police Chiefs (Kochi City and Ernakulam Rural) to act tough against those involved in unauthorised waste dumping in Ernakulam district.

The move forms part of the series of steps being initiated by the committee to check incidents of illegal and unscientific dumping of solid waste across the State. An official directive issued by the committee suggested that the police chiefs “shall line the department in action, in the event of report of unauthorised waste dumping. In such cases, the copy of the First Information Report (FIR) shall be forwarded to the District Legal Services Authority and the Kerala State Pollution Control Board so as to facilitate realisation of compensation from the violators on ‘polluter pays’ principle.”

The State Pollution Control Board has to estimate the value of environmental degradation on account of violation of environmental laws besides taking stock of the cost required for its restoration. The penalty has to be recovered from the violators for restoration and restitution. The District Legal Services Authority has to render necessary assistance in assessing the damage and fixing the compensation, according to the SLMC.

In its other directives being issued to the District Level Monitoring Committee, the State committee has asked local bodies to ensure door-to-door collection of segregated waste. The local bodies can insist on payment of user fee by waste generators. The possibility of realising user fee along with property tax from those who are refusing to pay can be explored. However, people below poverty line may be exempted from paying user fee, it said.

Local bodies have to install waste segregation plants within their limits as per Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The secretaries of local bodies concerned have to ensure proper working condition and personal protective devices to cleaning workers. They must also ensure that industrial or commercial waste as well as waste from hotels and restaurants are not being dumped into public drains and water bodies. Kochi Corporation, municipalities and panchayats have to install cameras to identify persons dumping waste in important public places and water bodies. As plastic waste from industrial units is more or less homogeneous in nature, it should be collected separately and sent to units for shredding or recycling, according to the committee.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 10:19:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/illegal-waste-dumping-slmc-directs-police-chiefs-to-act-tough/article28828069.ece

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