Raps govt again, asks for ‘complete, comprehensive action plan’ for solid waste handling by Dec 31; Orders testing of Anchar waters by 3 labs
Srinagar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has pulled up the ruling PDP-BJP government for its failure to handle municipal solid waste in Srinagar, saying the landfill site at Achan is causing serious environmental, human health and groundwater pollution problems.
“We have been accommodating the government of Jammu & Kashmir now for more than a year-and-a half. They have not been able to finalize any stakeholder for establishment of a Municipal Solid Waste Plant in any of its responses and the sanitary landfill site is causing serious environmental human health and groundwater pollution problems,” said a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.
The NGT said that while the state government was obligated to remedy the same, “they have failed”.
“This state of affairs cannot be permitted to continue any longer,” the NGT said.
Last month, the NGT had directed a team headed by Prof Yousuf, chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Dal Lake, and comprising officials of State’s Pollution Control Board (PCB), to file a complete and comprehensive report about collection, segregation and composting of the Municipal Solid Waste in Srinagar.
“The Tribunal has received a mail from Professor AR. Yusuf, former expert member of this tribunal, which points out serious deficiencies existing on the sanitary landfill site at Srinagar. The report has also been submitted by the team which again points out serious environmental issues in regard to the site in question,” said the NGT Bench, also comprising expert member Bikram Singh Sajwan.
“Even the facility for testing the groundwater was found to be defunct. It is a shocking state of affairs,” the NGT said and directed the state government to bring complete and comprehensive action plan by December 31 to ensure handing of municipal solid waste in accordance with Solid Waste Management Rules 2016.
The state government, the NGT said, was entitled to have its opinion regarding stakeholders who would establish Waste to Energy or Waste to Bio-methane and RDF to Power Plants.
“Samples will also be taken from Anchar Lake. The analysis will be done at the laboratory of the Jammu & Kashmir Pollution Control Board, National Institute of Technology, Srinagar, and Central Pollution Control Board,” the NGT said.
The sample taken shall be divided into three different portions simultaneously and analysis reports be submitted to the Tribunal before the next date of hearing, the NGT said and posted the matter on February 10.
The tribunal has been critical of the government on segregation and composting of municipal waste at Achan ever since it took cognizance of the matter in 2013.
On January 12, state’s housing and urban development department (H&UDD) told legislative assembly, presently in its budget session, that it was “hopeful” to install a mechanical segregator for segregating solid waste into bio-degradable and non- degradable substance within a month.