NGT directs Chief Secretary to submit report on solid waste management

Pic Courtesy: Advocate Akash Vashishtha

The NGT has directed the Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand to submit a report on a petition filled against illegal and widespread dumping of solid wastes, plastic wastes, bio-medical wastes, hazardous wastes and other obnoxious matter in and across Uttarakhand, especially in the higher reaches of the hill-state.

The order was passed on the petition moved by NGO Friends and Former Chairman of International Union of Forest Research Organizations, Vienna, Dr. Ajay Singh Rawat.

Pic Courtesy: Advocate Akash Vashishtha

Noting the gravity of the issue, the court will hear the matter with the main petition pertaining to Compliance of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 for Uttarakhand, which will come up for consideration in September.

The petition moved through Mr. Akash Vashishtha, Advocate was argued by Mr. Rajiv Dutta, Senior Advocate.

The entire hills of the state were in distress because of unrestrained dumping everywhere and no disposal thereof. The garbage is thrown, gets accumulated and is then set on fire. The biggest problem creators are the hotels, resorts and restaurants. Tourists are plundering the hills like anything,” Sr. Advocate, Rajiv Dutta, told the court.

The petition also carried a written reply submitted in the Rajya Sabha by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on 08-03-18 revealed that Uttarakhand is the worst-performing state in the country in terms of processing solid waste. Every day, the state generates 1,406 tons solid waste and processes 0 per cent of it.

Pic Courtesy: Advocate Akash Vashishtha

Including the Swachh Survekshan 2019 report which stated that the state capital Dehradun slipped to the 384th slot out of 425 cities having a population of over one lakh, which witnesses the abysmal performance of the state capital. A total of 4237 cities had participated in the survey but no city in Uttarakhand featured in the list of top 250.

The petition also seeks directions from the court to implement and enforce the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, fix quotas to 4000 tourists coming to places situated above 4000 feet above sea level altitude in Uttarakhand, especially during May-June and November-March, are just some of the directions that the petition seeks. A complete ban on large-scale weddings and events at an altitude of 5000 feet or more above sea level, amongst others.

Order SWM 21.08.2019