New Delhi [India], September 8 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday imposed Environmental Compensation of Rs 12,000 crores on the state of Maharashtra for allegedly not managing solid as well as liquid waste management causing harm to the environment.
The fine on the state was imposed under section 15 of the NGT Act.
The bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel while passing the direction said that award of above compensation had become necessary under section 15 of the NGT Act to remedy the continuing damage to the environment and to comply with directions of the Supreme Court requiring this Tribunal to monitor enforcement of norms for solid and liquid waste management.
Moreover, without fixing quantified liability necessary for restoration, mere passing of orders has not shown any tangible results in the last eight years (for solid waste management) and five years (for liquid waste management), even after expiry of statutory/laid down timelines, added Tribunal.
"Continuing damage is required to be prevented in future and past damage is to be restored", said the NGT.
The NGT said, "We determine compensation payable by the State of Maharashtra. In respect of gap in treatment of liquid waste and sewage i.e. 5420.33 MLD, compensation works out to Rs. 10840.66crores and compensation for un-remediated legacy waste to the extent of 3,94,19,287 works out roughly to about Rs. 1200 crores. We round off the compensation amount Rs. 12,000/- crores which may be deposited by the State of Maharashtra in a separate ring-fenced account within two months, to be operated as per directions of the Chief Secretary and utilised for restoration measures."
The restoration measures with respect to sewage management would include setting up of sewage treatment and utilization systems, upgrading systems and operations to ensure utilization of their full capacities, ensuring compliance of standards, including those of faecal coliform and setting up proper faecal sewage and sludge management in rural areas. With regard to solid waste management, the action plan would include setting up of required waste processing plants and remediation of left out 84 sites, said the tribunal.
"Bio-remediation and bio-mining process need to be executed as per CPCB guidelines and the stabilized organic waste from bio-mining as well as from compost plants need to comply with laid down specifications. Other materials recovered during such processes are to be put to use through authorized dealers, handlers and users. This restoration plan needs to be planned and executed in a time-bound manner without further delay. If violations continue, liability to pay additional compensation may have to be considered. Compliance will be the responsibility of the Chief Secretary," the bench said.
The issues of solid as well as liquid waste management are being monitored by the Tribunal as per orders of the Supreme Court order with regard to solid waste management and liquid waste management. Other related issues include pollution of 351 river stretches, 124 non-attainment cities in terms of air quality, 100 polluted industrial clusters, illegal sand mining etc. which have also been dealt with earlier but we propose to limit the proceedings in the present matter to two issues of solid waste and sewage management, said NGT. (ANI)