Wednesday, February 8, 2023

NGT imposes Environment Compensation of Rs 200 cr on Nagaland

National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Saturday levied Environmental Compensation of Rs 200 crores on Nagaland for allegedly not managing the solid and liquid waste management causing harm to the environment.
A bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel while passing the order on November 24 said considering the statement about a gap in sewage generation and treatment and a gap in solid waste management, “we levy compensation of Rs 200 crores on the State on the polluter pays principle for its failure in scientifically managing the liquid and solid waste in violation of the mandate of law particularly judgments of the Supreme Court and this Tribunal.”
The bench also said that the amount can be kept in a ring-fenced account to be operated as per directions of the Chief Secretary only for waste management in the State in the light of the said observations. Rs 200 crores be utilized for setting up solid waste processing facilities, remediation of legacy waste and setting up of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and FSSTPs so there remains no gap, it added.
“We hope in the light of interaction with the Chief Secretary, the State of Nagaland will take further measures in the matter by an innovative approach and stringent monitoring, ensuring that gaps in solid and liquid waste generation and treatment are bridged at the earliest, shortening the proposed timelines, adopting alternative/ interim measures to the extent and wherever found viable,” the bench said.
The restoration plans need to be executed simultaneously in all districts, cities, towns, and villages in a time-bound manner without further delay. Compliance be ensured by chief secretary, the Tribunal directed.
NPN Adds: It may be recalled that the NGT Eastern Zone bench, Kolkata in July this year sought reply from the State government, Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC), Deputy Commissioner Dimapur and Nagaland Pollution Control Board (NPCB) on a petition filed by Sunrise Colony, Burma Camp Dimapur in connection with dumping of solid waste and other wastes at the dumping site near the colony.
After hearing the petition on July 1, through video conferencing, NGT bench justice B. Amit Sthalekar (Judicial Member) and expert member Saibal Dasgupta through an order, stated that the matter required consideration and therefore, directed the respondents to file para-wise reply.
The applicant(Sunrise Colony), alleged that dumping solid waste and other wastes at the dumping site was in complete violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
It alleged that the dumping site was ill-maintained and located in the low-lying area which percolates and contaminates the ground water resources through leaching, which has direct effect on the life and health of the residents of the area including flora and fauna.
The applicant also alleged that plastic, rubber and other toxic materialswere being burnt openly leading to toxic smell in the air.
Further, it also pointed out that the dumping site was less than 30 meters away from the Dhansiri River and located about 40-50 meters from the human habitation, thus violating the siting criteria for selection of dumping site in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The applicant also prayed that the DMC be directed to re-locate the dump site to a more appropriate place in conformity with the environmental norms.
It may also be mentioned that the Sunrise Colony had earlier filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Gauhati High Court, Kohima bench in 2017 after which the court had maintained that the matter fell under the jurisdiction of the NGT as per Sec. 14 and Schedule 1 of the NGT Act, 2010.

Must Read