NGT takes a stern view of solid waste dumping in Ghaziabad
The petitioner told the NGT that the Morta dumping site is close to an area that has around 50 educational institutions besides being situated just 8km from the Hindon airbase, increasing risk of bird hits
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has reconstituted a joint inspection committee to look into the issue of solid waste in Morta site. after a resident filed a petition alleging that solid waste was being dumped there in violation of Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules.
Maintaining that the committee will comprise senior officials from the state and central pollution control boards, the NGT said the Ghaziabad officials have violated its previous orders, while hearing the petition on November 24.
The petition has been filed by resident Anuj Sharma contending that the corporation was allegedly dumping municipal solid waste in violation of rules at the Morta sire on Shahpur Road, Raj Nagar Extension. He submitted that site is close to an area that has around 50 educational institutions besides being situated just 8km from the Hindon airbase.The petitioner highlighted the risk of bird hits to aircraft and the potential health risk to citizens while seeking that the site be relocated..
The tribunal, during the first hearing on August 9, issued notices to respondents and also constituted a joint committee comprising one representative of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and district collector, Ghaziabad, as members, and sought a factual action taken report within six weeks.
The NGT during its latest hearing said the report submitted on November 22 and “a third member was also included by the joint committee on its own without any direction or permission of the tribunal and the said third member -- city health officer, Nagar Nigam Ghaziabad -- has also signed the joint report.”
The counsel appearing for the municipal corporation said the city health officer was included in the joint committee as he had done inspection on the instructions of the district magistrate, Ghaziabad.
“The report also mentions that the inspection of the site was done on November 11, 2023, by the three-member committee. The Tribunal fails to understand under which authority the third member was included in the committee when only two member joint committee was appointed by the tribunal... Hence, we issue notice to district magistrate, Ghaziabad, to explain his conduct of violating to the order of the tribunal and acting contrary to it by including the third member in the committee though the committee of only two members was formed. Let the reply be filed within four weeks,” the tribunal said in its order on November 24.
The officials of the UPPCB in their joint committee report said the site in Morta has legacy waste which will be cleared by May 2024. It was also submitted that the corporation is currently setting up a new processing plant to handle fresh waste at Jagjivanpur. They added that the plant is expected to have a processing capacity of around 2.000 tonnes per day.
District magistrate RK Singh did not respond to calls and messages, seeking comment on the issue.
Vikas Mishra, regional officer of UPPCB, said, “The directions given by the court will be complied with.”
For now, the NGT also directed the reconstitution of the joint committee, while modifying its August 9 order, with new members -- member secretary of the UPPCB and representative of member secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board.
The tribunal has sought a factual ground level report within eight weeks.
The tribunal also said that the new committee shall file a report with respect to compliance of its previous order of September 1, 2015, in connection with another petition.
Then, the tribunal had directed officials to submit the complete and comprehensive proposal in regard to collection and disposal of the municipal solid waste in the entire city of Ghaziabad. It also said, “Further, we direct that the any person, authority, officers or official shall not throw, dump and/or burn any municipal solid waste and other wastes anywhere in the district Ghaziabad particularly on the bank of river Hindon and road adjacent thereto.”