Throwing garbage in the open will attract a fine R10,000, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) announced on Monday.
The tribunal said municipal solid waste is one of the most serious pollutants in the country, especially in Delhi.
According to the NGT, all authorities are under “statutory” obligation to ensure that waste is “collected, transported and disposed” of in accordance with Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 so that it does not cause public health hazards.
“All major sources of municipal solid waste generation - hotels, restaurants, slaughter houses, vegetable markets etc, should be directed to provide segregated waste and handover the same to the corporation in accordance with rules.
“Any such body, person, hotels, residents, slaughter houses, vegetable markets which does not comply with the directions or throw their waste in any drain or at any public place shall be liable to pay environmental compensation at the rate of R10,000 per default,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The archaic and futile anti-littering law of 2009 had a provision of fine of R50 to R500. In June, the state government asked the municipal corporations to change the bylaws, so that they are in accordance with the Union government’s Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The fresh provisions recommended fines ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 for throwing garbage and littering in public space.
The tribunal noted that the national capital generates 9,600 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste per day and there is no “clear map” ready with the municipal bodies to deal with this huge quantity of waste.
It also directed commissioners of the three civic bodies to submit a scheme within a month before the tribunal for providing incentive to the people who give segregated waste at source, “by way of rebate in property tax and on other hand to impose penalties on residents, societies, RWAs who do not provide segregated waste”.
“It should be kept in mind that as per polluter pays principle, each person would be liable to pay for causing pollution, if the waste is generated. It is the duty of a citizen to ensure that said waste is handled properly and not to cause any pollution or cause inconvenience to other persons. The entire burden cannot be shifted on the state and authorities,” the bench said.
The directions came during a hearing on a petition relating to mismanagement of municipal solid waste in Delhi and the terrible conditions that are prevailing near landfill sites.
The corporations, on their part, are getting ready to implement the order.
A senior official from South Corporation said, “The court’s direction came on December 2 and we are preparing an ‘action plan’ for implementing the decision intensively. It includes full-functioning of three solid waste management sites in Okhla, Ghazipur and Najafgarh. If they don’t fulfil their duties, then the concessionaires would be penalised R5 lakh each, according to the court’s direction.”