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Bhopal: NGT seeks response from Centre, railway ministry

The NGT has sought response from the Centre, railway ministry and pollution control board with regard to laying standards for protection of environment from pollutants discharged from train toilets.

bhopal Updated: Sep 26, 2014 15:55 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times

In a major development, the central bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) at Bhopal on Thursday sought response from Central government, railway ministry and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) with regard to laying necessary standards for protection of environment from the pollutants discharged from passenger train toilets. It also asked the respondents to provide information on dealing with the waste left from the eateries etc.

The NGT has ordered that response be filed in the form of an affidavit after examining the issue in detail. The tribunal directed that their order be sent to the railway ministry, Centre and CPCB through their respective counsels.

The bench gave these directions while hearing the case ‘Kapil Malaiya and two Ors vs Union of India & nine Ors’. The Bench comprised justice Dalip Singh, a judicial member and PS Rao, an expert member. The next hearing in the case is on December 5.

Counsel for the applicant Shantanoo Saxena urged NGT to issue directions to Central government as well as the CPCB for considering the case. The counsel urged NGT that directions be issued for consideration of this case in the light of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006.

Saxena told HT that the EIA Notification, 2006, pertains to environmental impacts of new projects and the measures to be taken for mitigating the impacts of such projects. "Why rules are comparatively lenient towards railway authorities when it comes to taking care of environmental impacts of their projects and activities" said Saxena.

Saxena also pointed out that despite having installed the bio-digesters in the toilets of the train coaches, the discharge from the trains was disposed off on the tracks, which again didn’t solve the problem.

During the hearing, the applicant also suggested that some suitable sites along the railway tracks be developed for effective utilisation and conversion of waste into compost/bio-fertilizers.

Saxena told HT that the case originally pertained to effluents being discharged at Gate No 24 near railway station in Sagar town. The effluents used to flow into the nearby residential areas when the water level rose. He said that the pollution on the tracks was highlighted late in the case, but given the importance of the issue, it became the central highlight of the case.

On the original issue, the bench said they have gone through the reply filed by municipal corporation, Sagar, adding that it was a localised issue and accordingly the district collector Sagar had been directed to call a meeting with the railway authorities, the departments concerned and civic body to identify the cause of the problem.

First Published: Sep 26, 2014 13:38 IST