NGT forms committee to inspect Bandhwari landfill, leachate pond
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) formed a joint committee comprising officials of several government agencies to visit the Bandhwari landfill in Gurugram and inspect municipal solid waste dumped inside the forest area as well as a leachate pond near it, officials said Tuesday.
The NGT said the committee comprising officials of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), and divisional forest department, and district magistrates from Gurugram and Faridabad, must visit the sites and submit an action report within the next four weeks. The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for May 27.
“Having regard to the seriousness of the allegations, it appears necessary to ascertain the factual position in the matter through a joint committee of State PCB (HSPCB), divisional forest officers and district magistrates, Gurugram and Faridabad...The joint committee may meet within four weeks and undertake site visit and look into the grievance of the applicant. Factual and action taken report may be furnished within three months,” said the NGT order.
The HSPCB has been appointed as the nodal agency for coordinating the exercise and ensuring compliance with the NGT directions.
“All the NGT directions will be duly adhered to,” said Kuldeep Singh, regional officer of HSPCB.
Three weeks ago, Gurugram-based environmentalists Vaishali Rana and Vivek Kamboj had filed a petition against the dumping of the waste inside the forest area and the formation of the leachate pond near the Bandhwari landfill. An NGT hearing was held on February 17, and the order was uploaded on its official website on Tuesday.
In its order, NGT also took cognizance of HSPCB inspecting the leachate treatment plant and water body formed inside the forest area near the Bandhwari landfill in August 2021. The HSPCB had also collected samples from there. The HSPCB August 2021 sample reports of the pond showed that “biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), zinc, chloride, and fluoride were significantly higher in the water body than the permissible limits”.
“The analysis of the sample collected revealed that untreated leachate is being discharged in the forest area which has formed a kind of leachate pond,” the NGT’s order read.
“The HSPCB’s leachate test report clearly states that BOD, COD, and ammoniacal nitrogen present in the samples are on the higher side. The report proves that highly toxic and untreated leachate is being discharged into the forest land. Due to this, the groundwater for the surrounding five villages -- Bandhwari, Mandi, Mangar, Gwal Pahari and Baliawas -- has been contaminated. Authorities need to take action in the matter immediately,” said Rana.
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