NGT fines two Haryana civic bodies Rs 10 cr for illegally dumping waste near wildlife sanctuary, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms


New Delhi, The NGT has directed two municipal bodies in Haryana to pay a total compensation of Rs 10 crore for illegally dumping waste at a municipal solid waste facility near Khol-Hi Raitan Wildlife Sanctuary in Panchkula district. A bench of Chairperson Justice A K Goel said that in pursuance of a September 2021 order of the National Green Tribunal, a sub-committee was formed which visited the site and found non-compliance of environmental norms and consent conditions.

The bench, also comprising judicial member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A Senthil Vel, said according to the committee, waste was being dumped into a drain, leachate was mixing with the stormwater of the drain flowing into river Ghaggar and there were also violations of the permission granted by the chief wildlife warden.

But the committee’s recommendations to take remedial action were not adhered to, the bench said.

The Haryana State Pollution Control Board had also issued directions to the Panchkula municipal corporation and the Kalka municipal council to stop dumping garbage at the site along with a recommendation of environmental compensation for the past violations, the bench said.

“However, dumping had still not stopped… nor were other necessary steps taken to remediate the waste. Compensation has also not been paid,” it said.

The bench then said the contamination of water or violation of forest and wildlife laws had to be stopped and compensation had to be assessed for past violations.

“We determine compensation at Rs 10 crore (of which) Rs 9 crore is to be deposited by the Municipal Corporation, Panchkula and Rs 1 crore by Municipal Council, Kalka,” the bench added.

The amount may be deposited within a month with the Panchkula district magistrate for use for restoration measures, the green panel said.

To execute the order, the tribunal constituted an eight-member joint committee headed by Haryana’s additional chief secretary for urban development.

The execution will include remediation and recovery of the land along with identification of a new site for setting up a waste processing plant of adequate capacity, the NGT said.

Directing that substantial progress should be achieved in the matter within three months, the tribunal said the committee will be free to co-opt any other institution or expert and interact with all stakeholders.

The compliance status on March 31, 2023 should be filed before the tribunal by April 15, 2023, it said.

The tribunal was hearing a petition against illegal and unscientific dumping of garbage at the waste facility in Jhuriwala village which continued despite the tribunal’s earlier order.

As the site is around 140 metres away from the wildlife sanctuary, safeguards are necessary to avoid the negative impact of landfill on the groundwater, the petition said. PTI MNR DIV DIV


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