New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Haryana chief secretary to submit an action taken report and take punitive action against the officers for failing to stop leachate from the Bandhwari landfill site. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said this is a classic instance of “incapacity, incompetence and unwillingness” of the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation to perform its duty to handle solid waste in a scientific manner. The bench said,
The contractor to whom the work is assigned is not performing the job and is still continued. The result is damage to public health. The question is how local authorities are to be made accountable for the protection of the environment and the victims of damage to health.
The tribunal passed the order after perusing a report of a joint committee which said that the waste at the landfill site was being burnt resulting in air pollution. It said,
Condition of the landfill site is pathetic, which is a source of environmental degradation. Movement of trucks in the dusty roads leads to further pollution.
The tribunal said,
The above sorry state of affairs requires emergency measures at the highest level of the state. The actions must include prompt steps to deal with the situation. If necessary, replacing the existing contractor with a suitable contractor who can perform. Punitive action to be taken against the officers failing to handle the situation. This task must be undertaken under the directions of the chief secretary of the state who will be at liberty to take disciplinary action as well as prosecution of all concerned and furnish an action taken report in the matter. It will also be open to stop the salary of the officers who are not able to perform or to replace the officers with more competent officers who can deliver on the ground level.
The matter is listed for next hearing on May 27. The NGT had earlier directed the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation to submit a performance guarantee of Rs 25 lakh for stopping leachate from the Bandhwari landfill site.
The NGT had slammed the Haryana government and its civic bodies over the disposal of industrial waste and construction debris in the Aravalli forests along the Gurgaon-Faridabad road. The green panel was hearing a plea filed by environmentalist Vivek Kamboj and Amit Chaudhary, alleging that the municipal corporations of Gurgaon (now Gurugram) and Faridabad were disposing of industrial waste and construction debris in these forest areas.
Kamboj had referred to a media report which said construction debris were found dumped in the forest and quoted a local resident as saying that several vehicles dumped waste there every Sunday morning.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.