NGT raps State for failure to comply with directives

The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has come down on the government for not properly complying with its directives for effective implementation of waste management rules.

The Bench comprising Justice K. Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta held that the directions had fallen on deaf ears. “Being a literate State, it is expected that they [government] must be proactive in implementing waste management rules effectively, but that is not reflected in action, as seen from reports filed by the State Pollution Control Board [PCB] and the State Level Monitoring Committee [SLMC] on Solid Waste,” said the order issued by the tribunal on February 25 in the case related to the poor implementation of Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016 in the State.

The Bench has asked the Chief Secretary to look into the matter and take effective steps for the sake of public health. The authorities are expected to implement the directions of the tribunal to protect the environment, which is a constitutional obligation of the State machinery under Article 48 A of the Constitution, it said.

The Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Health), and the PCB have been asked to file a report on the implementation of the tribunal’s directions before March 23.

On the poor management of biomedical waste at Government Medical College Hospital, Ernakulam, the Bench said, quoting PCB and SLMC reports, that the sewage treatment plant at the hospital had not been functioning properly. Besides, the hospital staff have not been given proper training in scientific handling of biomedical waste, it added.

The government institution must be a model for others in implementing waste management rules, and the government must provide all necessary infrastructure and funds, as health is its primary responsibility. The tribunal also asked the government to expedite the commissioning of the biomedical waste management facility at Ambalamedu in Ernakulam under Kerala Enviro Infrastructure Limited.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 5:35:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ngt-raps-state-for-failure-to-comply-with-directives/article33984218.ece

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