New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Rajasthan government to pay Rs 3,000 crore as environmental compensation for improper management of solid and liquid waste.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice (retd0 Adarsh Kumar Goel, in an order passed on Thursday, said the total compensation is rounded off at Rs 3,000 crore, which may be deposited by the state in a separate ring-fenced account within two months as per directions of the Chief Secretary and utilised for restoration measures.
This compensation amount includes Rs 2,500 crore for gap in the treatment of liquid waste sewage and Rs 555 crore for failure to scientifically-managed solid waste works, rounded off at Rs 3,000 crores
The order was passed as per the Supreme Court’s directions which is requiring the tribunal to monitor the enforcement of solid and liquid waste management norms.
“We hope in the light of interaction with the Chief Secretary, the state of Rajasthan will take further measures in the matter by innovative approach, stringent monitoring at appropriate level, including at the level of the District Magistrates (who execute the District Environment Plans) and the Chief Secretary, ensuring that the gap in solid and liquid waste generation and treatment is bridged at the earliest, shortening the proposed timelines, adopting alternative/interim measures to the extent and wherever found viable,” the green court said in the order.
The order said the state has failed to produce verifiable information with reference to compliance of the orders of the tribunal to develop model cities/towns/villages, having population of more than 1 lakh. This includes Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Bikaner, Ajmer, Udaipur, Bhilwara, Alwar, Bharatpur, Sikar, Pali,Ganganagar, Tonk, Kishangarh, Hanumangarh, Beawar, Dhaulpur, Sawai Madhopur, Churu, Gangapur, Jhunjhunun, Baran, Chittaurgarh, Hindaun, Bhiwadi, Bundi, Nagaur, and Sujangarh.
“Legacy waste sites need to be remediated and reclaimed areas utilised for setting up of waste processing plants so to process day-to-day waste generation,” the bench noted.
The order also said, in view of continuing huge gap in solid and liquid waste generation and treatment, it is high time that Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) who have programmes like Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), AMRUT – 1 and 2.0 and River Cleaning, appropriately monitor compliance of waste management norms by the states concerned and take remedial action on their part.
Central Funding and state budgetary provisions need to be adequately allocated and apportioned keeping in view of environment compensation which is based on the restoration work estimate. The Union Environment Ministry and the Central Pollution Control Board may continue monitoring as per MSW Rules and the Water Act, it said.