December 20th, 2016
Garbage and waste disposal management has been lacking in India. Not only does the mismanagement destroy the land, but it also affects animals, plants, air, our health and surroundings. To combat this problem, the government has decided to impose fines on the people found littering public places.
The National Green Tribunal has upheld that a fine of Rs 10,000 would be imposed on any person, government, agency, or private entity found littering at a public place. It also stated that all the entities are under statutory obligation to ensure that waste is gathered, transported and disposed of as per Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, NGT Chairperson, said that any person, resident, hotel, vegetable market, slaughterhouse that does not comply with the rules and throws waste in public place or over any drain would be liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs 10,000 per offence. He also said that the waste should be segregated and disposed of depending on the type of waste.
The decision was made on a petition filed by Kudrat Sandhu against violation of waste management guidelines in the capital. The court observed that every origin individual/agency of waste is obligated to segregate the garbage before handing it over to the centres for waste collection, as reported by The Times of India.
The bench stressed that Municipal bodies have no clear plan to deal with the solid waste generated in the capital which amounts to 9,600 metric tonnes. They directed the commissioners of the corporations to frame a scheme in a month to provide incentives to people and entities to segregate the waste at the source. The bench also suggested a way by giving a rebate in property tax and also stated that penalties would be imposed on residents, societies who do not provide segregated waste.
“Each person is liable to pay for causing pollution as per the Polluter Pays principle. It is a duty of every entity or citizen to ensure that waste is handled properly and that the entire burden cannot be transferred to the state and authorities,” said the bench, as reported by The Times of India.
The chair also reiterated its order prohibiting fires in waste dumps and landfill sites. The bench said that the corporations, agencies and fire departments should ensure that there is no fire at any dumping sites. It also emphasised on banning the use of disposable plastic glasses at restaurants, hotels, public or in any private functions.
The order was delivered on December 2 and was published last Thursday. A decentralised approach was also suggested by the bench to manage waste. The court said that wherever feasible, the waste should be made into biomethane or composted at its source so that it is not necessary to shift the compostable waste to the waste processing plants or landfill sites.