The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed environmental compensation of Rs 3,000 crore on Rajasthan for allegedly not managing solid as well as liquid waste, causing harm to the environment.
The fine was necessary under Section 15 of the NGT Act to remedy the continuing damage to the environment and to comply with directions of the Supreme Court requiring the Tribunal to monitor the enforcement of norms for solid and liquid waste management, said the Tribunal in its order.
The bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel on Thursday said the restoration measures with respect to sewage management would include setting up of sewage treatment and utilization systems, upgrading systems/operations of existing sewage treatment facilities to ensure utilization of their full capacities, ensuring compliance with standards, including those of faecal coliform and setting up of proper faecal sewage and sludge management in rural areas.
With regard to solid waste management, the execution plan would include the setting up of required waste processing plants and remediation of left out 161 sites. Bio-remediation/bio-mining process needs to be executed as per CPCB guidelines and the stabilized organic waste from biomining as well as from compost plants needed to comply with laid down specifications. Other materials recovered during such processes are to be put to use through authorized dealers/handlers/ users, the NGT said.
Moreover, without fixing quantified liability necessary for restoration, the mere passing of orders has not shown any tangible results in the last eight years (for solid waste management) and five years (for liquid waste management), even after the expiry of statutory/laid down timelines. Continuing damage is required to be prevented in future and past damage is to be restored, the NGT said.
The issues of solid as well as liquid waste management are being monitored by the Tribunal as per orders of the Supreme Court dated September 2, 2014 with regard to solid waste management and the order dated February 22, 2017 with regard to liquid waste management.
Other related issues include pollution of 351 river stretches, 124 non-attainment cities in terms of air quality, 100 polluted industrial clusters, illegal sand mining etc, which have also been dealt with earlier but we propose to limit the proceedings in the present matter to two issues of solid waste and sewage management, the tribunal said.
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