NGT chair, who fined Delhi ₹900 cr over solid waste, set to retire today | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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NGT chair, who fined Delhi 900 cr over solid waste, set to retire today

Jul 05, 2023 11:35 PM IST

Among his most important judgments — an environmental compensation of ₹79,234.36 crore that was imposed on states for improper waste management.

Justice (retired) Adarsh Kumar Goel, during his five-year tenure in the National Green Tribunal (NGT), was known for the zeal and pace with which he disposed cases, with benches led by him clearing 8,419 cases that the green court heard in this period.

Justice (retd) Adarsh Kumar Goel (HT Archive)
Justice (retd) Adarsh Kumar Goel (HT Archive)

Among his most important judgments — an environmental compensation of 79,234.36 crore that was imposed on states for improper waste management, including a 900 crore fine on Delhi last year.

Goel steps down as NGT chairperson on Thursday.

In a statement, the NGT said during his tenure from July 6, 2018, 15,132 new cases were added to the tribunal and a total of 16,042 cases — both old and new — were disposed, with benches led by Goel disposing 8,419 cases. Goel is also credited to have taken up cases on NGT’s unmanned benches and made it a priority to dispose of cases that were five years or older.

“NGT has five benches. In the last five years, for a substantial period, some of benches remained unmanned, awaiting selection and appointment of members. To meet the situation, even prior to Corona, the NGT used video-conferencing to hear cases of unmanned benches and this has continued during and post Corona. A special drive was also taken up for cases older than five years – heard by a special Bench presided by the chairperson through video conferencing and subsequently, were disposed of. There are hardly any such cases left now,” the statement said.

Goel is also credited to have issued directions in July 2018 for the installation of rainwater harvesting systems in every Delhi building. In September 2020, he directed agencies to begin utilising sewage treatment plant (STP) water for non-potable purposes; in May 2022, directed that fresh environmental norms be followed by the Ghazipur slaughterhouse; in February this year formed an expert committee to control fire incidents at Delhi’s landfill sites; and in the same month, asked for an environmental management plan (EMP) to be prepared by Delhi and Haryana.

Most recently, on June 3, he issued directions to prepare an environmental management plan for AIIMS and a standard operating procedure (SOP) to control air pollution around other government hospitals too.

An NGT official said the next chairperson will be announced by the Union environment ministry in the coming days. “An acting chairperson or a new chairperson will be decided by the ministry soon and be announced through a gazette notification.”

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