Green panel seeks report on municipal waste

Srinagar: The National Green Tribunal has directed State’s Pollution Control Board (PCB) to file a “complete and comprehensive report” before it about collection, segregation and composting of the Municipal Solid Waste in Srinagar.
A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the PCB to engage a senior professor from NIT Srinagar with it for the purpose.
“It shall also submit a report with regard to leachate deposit, the samples from inlet and outlet of the leachate plant shall be submitted to the Tribunal along with the analysis of the ground water in and around the site in question (Achan),” said the NGT also comprising Justice Raghuvendra S. Rathore (judicial member) and Dr. Ajay A Deshpande (expert member).
The PCB has been also directed to conduct weekly inspection to verify compliance till next date of hearing of the matter on January 24. “The team would work under the supervision of Prof. Yousuf, the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Dal Lake,” the NGT added.
In July 2014, Chief Engineer Public Health Engineering informed the J&K high court that the turbidity of underground water at the dumping site was 6190 times the maximum permissible limits.
The turbidity was 5760, 5180 and 4530 times the permissible limit at the depth of 110 feet, 160 feet and 220 feet respectively, the Chief Engineer had submitted.
“It transpires that even at the depth of 220 feet turbidity of water is four-and-a half thousand times the permissible tolerance limit. In other word while permissible limit of turbidity is 10, the turbidity detected at 220 feet depth is 4500,” the officer had said.
Subsequently, the high court directed the PHE chief engineer to inform the public at large, and in particular people residing around Achan dumping site regarding turbidity and presence of other elements above the permissible and tolerance limits.
Complying with the orders, the PHE chief engineer had issued a warning through print media against use of underground water around at Achan for human or animal consumption.
The NGT has been critical of the government on segregation and composting of municipal waste at Achan ever since it took cognizance of the matter.
“The site in question where the municipal solid waste is being dumped is operating for considerable time but there is a pathetic state of affairs prevailing at the site,” the NGT had observed in its order in August last year.
“We had appointed Local Commissioner who had given adverse report with regard to the segregation, dumping, composting and final disposal of the municipal solid waste at the site in the question. It is stated that even biomedical waste was being dumped at the same place,” it said.
Even Amicus Curiae advocate Narender Pal Singh visited the site personally and found a pathetic state of affairs existing at the site. “There was indiscriminate dumping without any segregation and in fact plastic bags were being used for dumping collective waste, there were no pits and there was complete and flagrant violation of the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2000,” the NGT said
Vide an order on 11 August last year, the Tribunal directed that no municipal solid waste shall be dumped at the site. However, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation filed an application for temporary vacation of the 11-August order on the ground that there was no other place available for dumping. Subsequently, the Tribunal deferred its orders.
“The environmental degradation, leaching from the waste, spoiling of underground water, air pollution, serious odour from this huge site where 400 metric tons of waste is being dumped everyday in violation of the Municipal Solid Waste Rules. The health of the patients in the Hospital is being adversely affected,” the NGT had said, underlining that a dumping site has to be developed strictly in accordance with MSW Rules of 2000.
“The most beautiful city of the country is being spoiled because of irresponsible attitude adopted by the state and the local authorities,” it had said.