The Supreme Court has banned construction activities in Chandigarh and three other states after they failed to frame a policy on solid waste management, despite court directions. The order was issued after additional solicitor general AS Nadkarni, appearing on behalf of the Centre, informed the court about the lapse. The other three states are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand.A bench led by justice MB Lokur also imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh each on the states and Chandigarh for the neglect. “If they (governments) want the people to live in dirt, filth and garbage, what can be done then?” justice Lokur observed.The SC had been keeping a tab on solid waste management in the country ever since it took cognisance of the death of a boy in Delhi due to dengue.“In case, the states have the interest of the people, their cleanliness and sanitation in mind, then they should frame a policy for solid waste management. The attitude of the states/Union Territories, not yet framing a policy even after two years, is pathetic, to say the least,” said the bench.“Further constructions in the states/UT are stayed until the policy is framed,” the court said, listing the matter for further hearing on October 9. The court order does not specify the kind of construction activities banned.Where is Chandigarh laggingAs per the solid waste management rules 2016, notified by the Centre, states and UTs were to prepare a state policy and solid waste management strategy.The emphasis of the policy was to eliminate waste reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery and optimum utilisation of various components of solid waste to ensure minimum discharge into landfill sites thereby reducing its environmental impact.Chandigarh has been lagging behind in solid waste management, which also cost it a better rank in the Swachh Survekshan 2018. There is still no system in place for waste segregation at household level, because of which the collection of segregated waste has been hit. Only 30% waste is processed and rest ends up on an open dumping ground in Dadumajra. The MC has lately started efforts to improve waste management by adopted the new bylaws that fixed penalties for not adhering to separate collection of waste and has also increased fine for littering. Meanwhile, Justice Lokur was also upset with the fact that although the lawyer for Chandigarh had confirmed his presence in the court premises by submitting a slip, he was not available for the hearing.