The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday ordered Delhi Police to ensure that plastic waste is neither burnt nor carried in and out of scrap markets of Mundka and Nangloi in west Delhi.
Hearing the pleas of Satish Kumar and Mahavir Singh, the tribunal also came down heavily on the police for submitting a faulty report that agricultural residue and not plastic is being burnt there. The petitioners' lawyer had submitted pictures of plastic being burnt. "It is clear that plastic and other waste is being collected and burnt," the tribunal said.
"The police officer did not even care to collect samples of soil from the burnt spots which could have clearly shown as to whether the burning at that place was of plastic and/or of any other articles."
The tribunal expressed its displeasure that the police have failed to discharge their duty in implementing an earlier high court order in this regard and asked local plastic dealers to explain why they should not be fined heavily for polluting the environment.
"Admittedly the burning of plastic results in release of obnoxious gases viz. Dioxin and Furan, which are most injurious and cancerous to the human health," the tribunal said.
"New technology is available for re-use of plastic waste in road construction. Central Road Research Institute in Delhi and Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology in Chennai are impleaded as respondents to file status report regarding usage of plastic waste in road construction," the NGT said.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has also been made a party in the case. The matter would be heard next on July 10.
On May 8, the tribunal had criticised government officials in a similar case of laxity when they submitted a faulty report stating that things were normal at Mayapuri scrap market where India's first case of radiation exposure killed one person in 2010.