New Delhi: Miffed over municipal waste and dead animals being thrown near water bodies in Srinagar, the National Green Tribunal has slammed the government and warned of criminal prosecution against the state and its officials for violation of its orders.
The green panel also issued notice to show cause why environmental compensation should not be imposed on the state government and Srinagar Municipal Corporation for allowing trash to scatter.
“We had issued directions vide different orders passed in this application, to take due precaution and prepare site even as temporary site for dumping of waste. It is evident that no steps have been taken by corporation in that behalf at all. Even the government has failed to discharge its statutory and public law functions as we prima facie find at this stage.
“Before we pass any further punitive directions, we issue notice to the State as well as the Commissioner of the Srinagar Corporation to show cause why environmental compensation be not awarded against them; why their criminal prosecution be not directed in accordance with law; why they be not punished for violating the specific directions of the Tribunal by the previous orders,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The tribunal appointed advocate Rahul Choudhary as a local commissioner in the matter and directed him to visit the site near the waste-to-energy plant at Achan in Srinagar and submit an inspection report.
“In the meanwhile, we restrain either the Corporation or the State Government from removing any waste for 24 hours from today,” the bench said.
The directions came after advocate Narender Pal Singh, who is amicus curiae in the case, submitted photographs showing municipal solid waste and bio-medical solid waste near the plant.
“The photographs show all kinds of waste, municipal solid waste, bio-medical solid waste and even dead animals being thrown near water bodies/lakes and the site in question.
“We are further told that nearly 80,000 people live around the site and it is a serious health hazard and environmental threat for the entire area. The photographs also show the leaches resulting from indiscriminate dumping of such waste, which obviously means that lake and ground water is being polluted which is a major source of water supply to Srinagar,” the bench noted.