Order of the Calcutta High Court regarding public opposition to a solid waste management plant, Bongaon, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, 28/08/2023

  • 28/08/2023

Order of the Calcutta High Court in the matter of Apurba Biswas & Others Vs The State of West Bengal & Others dated 28/08/2023.

The petitioners, through a public interest litigation alleged that a plot of land measuring 117 decimals in L.R. Plot No.323, R.S. Plot No.252 of Mouza Chithaliya, Police Station Gopalnagar, District North 24 Parganas is being illegally converted into an organic fertilizer plant.

According to the writ petitioners, the area is a densely populated area and 300 families are living around the said plot of land and if the area is converted into an organic fertilizer plant, it will be a nuisance to the general public and it will be hazardous. Further, it is alleged that dead animals are also being dumped in the said land.

The counsel representing the state of West Bengal has submitted written instruction given by the Block Development Officer, Bongaon Development Block, Bongaon, North 24 Parganas from which it is seen that the facility, which is to be established is not an organic fertilizer plant but a solid waste management plant, which comes under the Central Government scheme namely, Swachh Bharat Mission. It has been specifically stated that the plant does not deal with dead carcasses.

"The organic and plastic wastes being collected will be recycled into an organic fertilizer and recyclable plastic product respectively and there are many such projects successfully being already operated across the country and none of which pose hazardous threat to public health," said the state counsel.  

The court was informed that the authorities had organized sensitization programme to remove any kind of misconception about the eco-friendly project and necessary awareness programme have already been made known amongst the public that the solid waste management is a programme to turn daily household wastes into an organic fertilizer and recyclable plastic products, which will also reduce the chances of vector borne diseases.

In the light of the report submitted by the Block Development Officer, which is taken on record, the Calcutta High Court noted that the apprehension of the writ petitioners is baseless. Therefore, the directions as sought for in the writ petition cannot be granted except to observe that the authorities upon establishing the solid waste management plant shall ensure that the area is kept clean and the segregation of the garbage is done in a proper manner and also to ensure that the local residents are not in any manner affected by the establishment of the solid waste management facility.

The authority shall continue to sensitize the local public and if need be, a door to door campaign handing over pamphlets as to why the solid waste management plant is being set up can be distributed in the locality so that the public gain confidence and stand duly sensitized about the need for such a project. With the above observations, the writ petition was disposed of.