PCB asks Kochi Corporation to pay ₹14.92 crore in two weeks

A view of the Brahmapuram solid waste treatment plant.   | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

The State Pollution Control Board has asked the Kochi Corporation to pay ₹14.92 crore as environment compensation for the civic body’s failure to comply with the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016.

The environment compensation has been assessed for a period of 771 days starting from November 22, 2018 to December 31, 2020. The board found that the corporation was generating about 315.96 tonnes of waste per day while the waste being disposed off as per the rules was only 31.60 tonnes per day. The gap in the waste management capacity was 284.36 tonnes per day.

The board has asked the Corporation Secretary to remit the environment compensation before 15 days of receipt of the direction. A report on the environment compensation slapped on the Corporation has been filed before the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which is scheduled to take up the case on January 21. The board has assessed the environment compensation as per the ‘polluter pays principle’.

The Bench had pulled up the government and the board on September 16 last year for their failure to take coercive action under the SWM Rules, 2016 against those responsible for the unscientific dumping of waste at Brahmapuram. It had pointed out that the progress of rectifying the waste management situation appeared to be very slow and in disregard to the statutory and constitutional obligation of providing a clean environment.

The tribunal had warned that the Chairman and Member Secretary of the board would be held liable for failure to initiate prosecution and recover compensation from the erring local bodies. The State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on solid waste management appointed by the NGT had also filed a report before the Principal Bench saying that the Corporation had failed to comply with the norms prescribed under the SWM Rules, 2016.

The board found that the facilities provided for the treatment and disposal of solid waste provided at Brahmapuram were not maintained properly. The windrow composting shed remained in a dilapidated condition and mixed solid waste, including plastic waste, was dumped in the yard in open condition. The manure produced failed to meet the fertiliser standards as per the SWM Rules and it contained heavy metals.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 7:33:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/pcb-asks-kochi-corporation-to-pay-1492-crore-in-two-weeks/article33604669.ece

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