Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding closure of TSDF facility of M/s Ramky Enviro Engineers, Karnataka, 26/09/2019

  • 26/09/2019

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the T. M. Umashankar Vs Union of India & Others dated 26/09/2019 regarding direction for closure of Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) established by M/s Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd. and M/s Ramky Infrastructure Ltd. on the ground of violations of norms in operating the TSDF facility. The matter was transferred to the Tribunal by the High Court of Karnataka in January 2019.

According to the writ petitioners, working of TSDF needs to be audited to ensure compliance of environmental laws, apart from ensuring deposit of funds by the service provider in the manner statutorily required. It is alleged that the environmental clearance, as required, has not been taken nor post establishment preventive and remedial steps taken to comply with the requirement of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,1981, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The service provider is liable to pay environmental cost for the failure. The Tribunal through its order of April 22, 2019 directed constitution of a joint Committee comprising the representatives of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, (MoEF&CC), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).

Accordingly, report has been furnished by the joint Committee on August 7, 2019 found the TSDF to be compliant except that consent to operate for a period from July 2016 was refused by the SPCB against which an appeal was pending and the Appellate Authority directed maintenance of status quo. It is further stated that while Environmental Clearance (EC) was taken for incinerator, the same EC was being treated as EC for TSDF which does not meet the mandate of the rules. However, it is suggested that at this stage, separate EC may not be directed to be required.

The NGT directs that the TSDF must obtain the EC within two months and the concerned authorities should deal with the appeal, pending for three years as expeditiously as possible in accordance with law.