PCB slaps ₹2.4-cr. fine on Kalamassery municipality

Civic body fails to comply with waste management rules

The Kerala State Pollution Control Board has slapped a penalty of ₹2.47 crore as environment compensation on Kalamassery municipality for its failure to comply with the provisions of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The amount was fixed for a period starting from November 22, 2018, to October 31 this year. The civic body has to show cause within 15 days as to why the board shall not recover the environmental compensation of ₹2.47 crore for not taking steps to provide bio-methanation plant and non-compliance of Rule 22 of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, said an official order issued by the board to the Secretary of Kalamassery municipality.

Cost component

Of the ₹2.47 crore, ₹1 crore comes under the capital cost component while the operation and maintenance component is ₹1.3 crore. The penalty under the clause of environmental externalities is ₹17.2 lakh. The board imposed the fine as per an order issued by the National Green Tribunal dated September 23 this year. The waste generation per person daily under the municipality was fixed at 0.3 kg while the total waste generated was 21.23 tonnes per day. Only one fifth of the waste generated was disposed as per rules.

The tribunal had stated that the Pollution Control Board could independently proceed against local bodies that were not complying with rules and assess the damage caused to the environment owing to such a lapse. The board had also used its powers prescribed under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, while fixing the environment compensation based on ‘polluter pays principle’. Kalamassery was among the five municipalities in Ernakulam that had received notices from the board for its failure to set up bio-methanation plants for treatment of food waste. The others included Aluva, Thrikkakara, Thripunithura and Maradu municipalities.

Biodegradable waste generated in these municipalities is taken to the Kochi Corporation’s Brahmapuram facility as they lack any facility to ensure food waste processing as per the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules. The board had found that the local bodies failed to provide facility for the treatment of biodegradable waste generated under their jurisdiction and waste was still seen accumulated on the roadside and on land.

The local bodies should have ensured bio-remediation or capping of old and abandoned dump sites. They should have set up suitable sites for setting up solid waste processing facilities, besides procuring sanitary landfill facilities, it said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:03:05 PM |

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