Srinagar: The J&K High Court Tuesday directed state authorities to urgently frame bye-laws for Model Solid Waste Management.
“Unfortunately, despite the expiry of over two and half years from the 8th April, 2016 when the above rules came to be notified, the local authorities, as defined in Rule 3(1)(30), in the State of Jammu and Kashmir have not framed the Bye-laws,” the division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar said hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on protection and preservation of Pahalgam environs.
The court also directed that the bye-laws be then circulated to all local bodies, urban and rural, for implementation with
conditions for local adaptations as may be necessary.
Referring the directions in a PIL pending before Jammu wing of
High Court, the division bench directed that after receiving the model bye-laws, the local bodies shall consider them and take a view thereon.
The court said special attention needs to be paid to collection and treatment of medical waste.
“The respondents shall place before this court the steps taken with regards to the management of medical waste including the prosecutions which have been initiated against the persons for violation of the prescribed norms,” the court said.
The division bench also sought the latest status
regarding award of tendering for the processing and disposal facility of solid waste management.
“We find that despite the mandate of the Environment Protection Act, 2000, no bye-laws appear to have been framed in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. Concerned with the
importance of protection and improvement of environment, The Government of India enacted ‘The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, which is applicable to whole of India,” the court said.
It is in exercise of the powers conferred by these statutory
provisions, the Government of India notified ‘The Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000’. These Rules came to be superseded in the year 2015 by the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 after inviting objections from the public, which were notified on 8th April, 2016.
“Rule 15 of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 provides and mandate is cast upon the local authorities with regard to framing bye-laws and prescribing criteria under Rules 15(e) (f), (zf) and (zg) of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.” the court said.