In a major setback to the proposed solid waste management plant (SWMP) at Dundahera near NH-24 in Ghaziabad, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday quashed the environmental clearance issued for the project.
NGT also cancelled the no-objection certificate (NoC) issued by the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board.
The tribunal gave its directions over a petition filed by Tarun Bharat Chauhan, a resident of Crossings Republik Township, which has come up near the proposed site of the plant in Ghaziabad.
The tribunal laid down four vital points with regard to the project. “1. The EC granted on April 24, 2013, is quashed and set aside. 2. By permanent prohibitory injunction, we restrain the respondent number four (Ghaziabad municipal corporation) from dumping municipal waste at the site in question. 3. By mandatory injunction, respondent number four to remove all the municipal waste dumped at the site within a period of six weeks. 4. The no-objection certificate dated 23.11.2009 granted by the Utter Pradesh State Pollution Control Board, is hereby quashed and set aside (sic),” the tribunal said in its order.
The tribunal came down heavily on the municipal corporation for infringement of rights of the citizens residing in the area and not protecting the environment.
“Therefore, we have reached a conclusion that the MSW management plant cannot be established on the site concerned as per the rules and manual; it is not suitable at all for the said purpose and keeping in view the fact that lakhs of people are residing in the buildings that have been raised on the land meant for residential use and the layout plans of which have been duly approved by GDA,” the tribunal further stated.
The petitioner is a resident of Crossings Republik township, which is adjacent to the proposed site.
“We had been fighting for the removal of the proposed site from the vicinity of the township. Homebuyers have invested large sums of money in buying flats and would have to live in unhygienic conditions if the plant is constructed here,” Chauhan said.
“The decision has come as a big relief,” he said.
In his petition, Chauhan had requested the tribunal to restrain the respondents from constructing the solid waste plant at Dundahera and choose another site for the purpose.
He had further contended that other respondents — ministry of environment & forests and ministry of finance — must not disburse grants to the Ghaziabad municipal corporation for construction of the plant.
He had also contented that the NoC issued for the project by UP pollution control board, another respondent in the case, be cancelled.
The city still lacks a solid waste management site. Nearly 1,000 metric tonnes of daily solid waste is disposed of by the municipal corporation at a temporary landfill site in Pratap Vihar.
The city was among the two cities, the other being Bareilly, which were chosen in 2005-06 to have an SWMP facility.
The cities were chosen as as both have airfields and an SWMP could help avoid bird hits.