The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Delhi government to pay Rs 2,232 crore as environmental compensation for improper management of solid and liquid waste.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice AK Goel said there were gaps in the management of solid and liquid waste in the national capital.
"On the pattern of compensation awarded in respect of other states (at the rate of Rs 2 crore per million litres per day (MLD) of untreated sewage and Rs 300 per tonne of untreated legacy waste), compensation of Rs 3,132 crore is liable to be levied on the Delhi government -- Rs 990 crore for solid waste and Rs 2,142 crore for solid waste," the bench, also comprising judicial members Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi along with expert members A Senthil Vel and Afroz Ahmad, said.
Deducting the compensation for solid waste already levied (Rs 900 crore), the remaining amount of Rs 2,232 crore has to be paid by the city government on the "polluter pays" principle, the bench said.
The amount has to be used for tackling the "emergent situation prevailing in Delhi, posing danger to the safety of the citizens," and for remedying the continuing damage to the environment, the bench added.
"This payment will be the responsibility of the chief secretary, Delhi and the payment be made within one month and credited to a separate ring-fenced account," it said.
The tribunal had, in October last year, directed the Delhi government to pay Rs 900 crore as environmental compensation, following which the authorities concerned had filed a review petition.
"The issue of emergency situation of failure to tackle legacy waste as per the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 was earlier considered by this tribunal...whereby liability for compensation for failure to scientifically handle solid waste was determined at Rs 900 crore, which does not appear to have been paid so far as review applications have been filed, which are being disposed of by separate orders today," the NGT said.
"The amount may now be paid with the additional amount of Rs 2,232 crore," the tribunal said.
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