NGT panel berates Ludhiana MC for poor solid waste management - Hindustan Times
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NGT panel berates Ludhiana MC for poor solid waste management

By, Ludhiana
Apr 28, 2022 01:56 AM IST

The NGT panel, led by Justice Jasbir Singh (retd), met deputy commissioner Surabhi Malik, and municipal corporation commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal among other officials to discuss 20 metric tonnes of legacy waste accumulating in the landfill at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Wednesday

Seven days after a family of ragpickers was charred to death when their shanty located near the Tajpur Road dump caught fire, the monitoring committee of the National Green Tribunal berated the civic body for failing to manage sold waste in the landfill and directed officials to set deadlines.

The committee, which is in the city to probe the deaths, also visited the site where the shanty that caught fire on April 20 was located. (Harvinder Singh/HT)
The committee, which is in the city to probe the deaths, also visited the site where the shanty that caught fire on April 20 was located. (Harvinder Singh/HT)

The NGT panel, led by Justice Jasbir Singh (retd), met deputy commissioner Surabhi Malik, and municipal corporation commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal among other officials to discuss 20 metric tonnes of legacy waste accumulating in the landfill at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Wednesday.

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The committee, which is in the city to probe the deaths, also visited the site where the shanty that caught fire on April 20 was located.

Justice Singh said, “Solid waste management in the city is a shambles, and we have set deadlines for the municipal corporation (MC) to deal with legacy waste, and waste segregation. Penalties have also been imposed by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) as per directions of the NGT, and more penalties will be imposed in the coming time, if the civic body fails to tackle the situation.”

Member of the committee, Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, said the civic body has failed to meet the last deadlines and now new deadlines have been set.

Last year, the PPCB had imposed a penalty of 1.8 crore on the MC for failing to deal with legacy waste. However, the MC is yet to pay to pay the fine.

The committee also directed the MC to restart waste processing at the plant at the earliest. The MC has been struggling with solid waste management since February 2021, since A2Z company terminated its contract with the MC. The city produces around 1,100 metric tonnes of garbage per day.

MC commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal said, “We will deal with legacy waste in phases and tenders are being floated for the same. Once a solid waste management contractor is hired, things will streamline. Static compactors will also be installed to stop open dumping of garbage over the coming days.

Fires continue to rekindle

Regular blazes are being reported at the Tajpur Garbage Dump since April 15, and despite the efforts of the fire officials the garbage was still smouldering on the day of in the inspection. Accumulated waste produces the highly inflammable methane gas, which catches fire when the temperatures rise.

NGOs voice concerns

Members of different NGOs showed up at a few dumping sites in Shiv Puri and near Dholewal Chowk and flagged open dumping of garbage. NGO members Kapil Arora, Kuldeep Khaira, and Jaskirat Singh told the panel that neither had the MC been able to stop open dumping of waste nor had it imposed a ban plastic carry bags.

“The committee members shocked to know that the MC had included open dumping sites in its list submitted to the green tribunal,” they said.

250-crore penalty imposed: Seechewal

Seechewal said that penalties of 250 crore have been imposed on civic bodies in Punjab for failing to deal with solid waste and polluting water bodies and more penalties of 50 crore will be imposed in the coming days.

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