The National Green Tribunal (NBT) has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 and Rs 10,000 on a private firm and an official of the municipal corporation of Bathinda (MCB) respectively for giving false information to the tribunal about having developed a green belt around the site proposed for the setting of a solid waste treatment plant on the Bathinda–Mansa road here.
The NGT heard the matter on Tuesday and imposed the fine on sub-divisional officer (SDO), MCB, Sandeep Gupta and Delhibased JITF Urban waste management company for providing false information.
The tribunal also asked the secretary, local bodies, Punjab, and representative of the firm to be present in the next hearing in the case on July 30.
According to the court orders, the fine is to be deducted from the salary of the SDO. In the last hearing in this case on July 9, the MCB official had informed the tribunal that a green belt has been developed around the plant site.
When contacted, commissioner, MCB, Dalwinderjit Singh, confirmed the development and the SDO had not visited the spot personally to check whether the green belt has been actually developed or not and relied on the information provided by others.
Residents of the area on the Bathinda–Mansa road, where the proposed solid waste treatment plant is to be set up, had approached the tribunal demanding that the plant be shifted to some other place as it was not appropriate to set up the plant in the residential area.
Guriqbal Singh Chahal, counsel for the residents, said that the MCB also provided photographs of the green belt to prove their point, but the tribunal came to know that the green belt has actually not been developed and fined them for misleading the court.
The proposed plant is to come up on 20 acres of land and is supposed to treat the solid waste of as many as 18 local bodies under Bathinda cluster and about 350 tonnes of solid waste will be treated at the plant on a daily basis.
The Delhi based firm, that has been fined, has been engaged in collecting garbage from these local bodies and will also set up the treatment plant. The delay in setting up the plant is also making handling the solid waste a challenging task.