National Green Tribunal (NGT) Current Affairs - 2020

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States miss deadline for submitting Action Plan on Waste Disposal

Over 25 State governments missed the deadline for submitting their action plans on systematic disposal of plastic waste to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The April 30 deadline set by National Green Tribunal has expired and thus states may have to pay a fine as environment compensation of ₹1 crore each.

Key Highlights

Background: In early 2019, National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed all States and Union Territories (except Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Puducherry) to submit an action plan for compliance of PWM (Plastic Waste Mnagement) Rules and submit the same to CPCB by 30 April 2019. Moreover, NGT ordered that if any state fails to submit action plans within designated deadline it will have to pay the pollution body compensation at the rate of ₹1 crore per month after 1 May 2019.

Arguments by CPCB

  • The conditions of waste management in country are poor as states do not prioritise plastic and solid waste management rules. Waste management is considered last in the list of priorities of state’s municipal corporations.
  • Initially the States did not comply with CPCB orders, so it moved the NGT. Now the states are violating NGT orders, so they have to pay price for their laxity.
  • The CPCB will now inform NGT about non-compliance and make states pay heavy amount for default. In some cases punishment not just includes compensation but imprisonment too.

Cause of Non-Compliance

  • The main reason for non-compliance of plastic waste management rules is the lack of knowledge and updates among concerned State authorities such as state pollution control boards.
  • There is also a communication gap between Ministry of environment, central government officials and state level government officials responsible for waste management compliance.

Way Forward

The Ministry of Environment thus needs to conduct regular awareness programmes in states to educate state-level officials to carry out necessary measures to segregate plastic and dispose it.

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National Green Tribunal Bans Open Defecation and Waste Dumping on Yamuna Floodplains

A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar has banned open defecation and waste dumping on the floodplains of the Yamuna. It has also slapped an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 for people who violated the order. Apart from this, the NGT has also constituted a committee under the head of Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the cleaning works of the river and ordered it to submit reports at regular intervals.

The tribunal has also ordered the Delhi government and the municipal corporations to immediately take action against those polluting industries which function in residential areas. These industries are held as the major source of pollution to the river.

NGT’s above orders were issued after hearing a plea on the monitoring of execution of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’.

Background

The NGT on May 1 ordered the inspection of the sewage treatment plants (STP) to make sure that the effluents are treated before it got released into Yamuna. Almost 67% of the wastewater reaching Yamuna are to be treated under the STPs set up under Phase 1 of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’. Out of the total 14 STP projects that are to be built for treating wastewater, seven STP projects will be built by the Delhi Jal Board with its own funds.
The central government had sanctioned the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP)-I and YAP-II schemes for the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. YAP-III projects which are to be completed by December 2018 has been introduced in Delhi with financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The project involves works like sewerage/interception and diversion of drains, sewage treatment plants, low-cost sanitation and community toilet complexes, electric and improved wood crematoria among others.

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