NGT Current Affairs - 2019
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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.
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.
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.
In a factual report submitted by the state forest department following the directive of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), it has been stated that there are about Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) in the Jaisalmer area of the Desert National Park in Thar.
This claim by the Rajasthan Forest Department is contrary to that by the Wildlife Institute of India which had estimated a total population of GIB at 150 for whole India.
Fact Box: Great Indian Bustard
Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigriceps
IUCN status: Critically Endangered
Plea before NGT
A petition filed by the Centre for Wildlife and Environment Litigation (CWEL) stating that wind power projects and transmission lines were proving to be a major hazard for the survival of the endangered species in the desert area and most of the wind power projects are located in the natural habitat of the GIB in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Due to their weight, GIBs cannot fly at a high altitude. As a result, they caught in power lines.
Even the 30th Forest Advisory Committee report had advised ensuring that transmission lines in the natural habitats of GIBs should pass underground.
The petition claimed that the Rajasthan government is not doing enough to conserve the critically endangered species. No effort has been made to install ‘bird diverters’ on these power lines. Further, no measure has been taken to curb the menace of feral dogs and foxes in the park.
Tags: bird diverters • Centre for Wildlife and Environment Litigation • Desert National Park • Forest Advisory Committee • Great Indian Bustard • Gujarat • Karnataka • Maharashtra • National Green Tribunal • NGT • Rajasthan • Wildlife Institute of India