Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding solid waste management in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 15/03/2021

  • 15/03/2021

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE) Vs Union of India & Others dated 15/03/2021.

The issue for consideration was compliance of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, Hazardous and other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 and Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 in the city of Agra as well as the areas coming under the Cantonment Board, Agra and eco-sensitive zone of Taj Trapezium Zone.

The Oversight Committee in its report mentioned the issue of adhoc moratorium in Agra specially in reference to directions of the Supreme Court regarding seeking permission for environmental projects. All the environmental projects in Agra including waste to energy plants were stuck because of the stand of the municipal corporation/TTZ Authority that before starting any work, they require permission of CCE/ NEERI from Adhoc Moratorium imposed in TTZ.

In this regard, the SC had in its order December 6, 2019 had clearly differentiated between environmental projects and industries.

The oversight committee said that because of wrong interpretation, environmental projects were lying at standstill.

The NGT in its order March 15, 2021 directed the Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh to ensure remedial action, taking into account the recommendations of the CPCB and the oversight committee by ensuring that  adequate measures are taken to bridge the gap for solid and sewage management. Due attention is required on utilization of treated sewage and setting up of adequate capacity for solid waste processing plants to avoid mounting of legacy waste. Leachate recirculation and treatment has to be ensured as per MSW Rules and keeping monitoring of ground water to check contamination.

There was need to devise manifest system for tying up rejects and residues arising out of bio-mining. Further, duly authorized bio-medical, plastics and hazardous waste management facilities need to be set up and operated. The Chief Secretary should oversee further action on a monthly basis, the order passed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Sheo Kumar Singh of the NGT said.