The National Green Tribunal has slammed the Haryana government over dumping of garbage in Sonipat district, saying nothing tangible has been done by the authorities.
The NGT said there was a need to fix accountability as the matter was pending for the last 20 years and concerned officers were unwilling to perform their duties.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed Haryana Chief Secretary to take steps to ensure compliance of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
It also asked the officer to take steps for taking coercive measures against concerned officials for their failure.
The tribunal took exception over the submission of Additional Chief Secretary of Urban Local Bodies Department that due to Covid-19, the compliance of the Rules could not be ensured.
It said the matter has been pending for the last 20 years while Covid-19 situation has emerged only now.
"Moreover, the statutory timelines have expired and earlier binding orders have attained finality. Nothing tangible is shown to have been done, giving rise of incompetence and unwilling of the concerned officers to perform their duties for which their accountability has to be fixed," the bench said.
The tribunal sought a report on the issue by August 25.
The NGT had earlier has directed the Haryana government to install the waste-to-energy plant in Rohtak cluster before December 2021, calling the proposed timeline "leisurely".
It had noted that the waste-to-energy plant is proposed to be installed for towns falling in the Rohtak cluster by December, 2021.
The tribunal, however, had said such "leisurely" timeline is not only in conflict with the rules but also at the cost of the environment.
The green panel was hearing a plea filed by Haryana resident Jagdish Kumar, seeking restoration of a site where garbage was dumped as it was creating air pollution, affecting public health.