Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding solid waste management, Haryana, 09/05/2022

  • 09/05/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Jagdish Kumar Vs State of Haryana dated 09/05/2022.

The issue for consideration initially taken up was the remedial action for restoration of the site where garbage was unscientifically dumped at Gohana, district Sonepat, Haryana. However, in the light of earlier proceedings, the Tribunal took up for consideration the steps for compliance of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 in the entire state since timelines given for various steps under the Solid Waste Management Rules had expired.

The matter was last considered in the light of the report of the Chief Secretary, Haryana, September 2, 2021 giving the status of legacy waste in different cities of Haryana. It was found that non-compliance continued beyond the statutory timeline. The Chief Secretary, April 29, 2022 in its status report said that "40.72 lakh metric tonnes (52%) of legacy waste has already been processed in 37 Municipalities upto 31 March 2022."

The Tribunal, May 9, 2022 expressed dissatisfaction with the report and said that it does not give a complete picture of the compliance status - at some places, there is zero processing and at other places processing is not complete. Fresh waste is being dumped at the same site which would obstruct the clearance of legacy waste and it is not clear whether any waste processing plants have been set up. The court observed that the findings of the joint committee showed the process of bio-mining as being very slow and that the estimation of legacy waste need verification as at some locations fresh waste is being dumped.

The Chief Secretary, Haryana needs to undertake more rigorous monitoring. The sites where legacy waste is cleared must be properly closed and the end destination of the material removed from the legacy waste site must be specified to ascertain the effectiveness of the waste processing. Steps must be taken to ensure that garbage does not catch fire. the court underscored in its order, May 9, 2022.

Directions were given by the Green Tribunal to the Chief Secretary, Haryana to have a joint meeting with the Monitoring Committee constituted by the Tribunal and the Regional Officer, CPCB within one month for interaction. Points for discussion may include compliance of Guidelines for bio mining, end utilisation plan for the recovered material for Compost, RDF, C&D waste, Inerts and others so that actually the land is reclaimed, status of 37 MCs in terms of waste generation and processing facilities to process day to day waste generated and still being dumped into dumping grounds, preventing mishaps due to landfill fires, and regulation and monitoring safety of habitation in close proximity of dumping grounds.