New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Monday directed the joint secretary (Swachh Bharat) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to appear before it tomorrow to explain implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. A bench, headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore, directed the official to explain the compliance of its order on the issue. Warning that failure to ensure proper management of solid waste will have disastrous consequences, the tribunal has appointed three committees to monitor disposal of garbage in an eco-friendly manner across the country.
The municipal solid waste (MSW) management is one of the most serious challenges to environment protection and although the Solid Waste Management Rules have been framed in 2016, their implementation remains a problem, the tribunal had said, expressing its anguish over the issue.
The tribunal had formed three committees – apex monitoring committee, regional monitoring committees and state-level committees, to oversee the steps to be taken to give effect to the directions of this tribunal, including proper implementation of the rules. Observing that most of the states have no plans to deal with solid wastes in rural areas and hilly terrains effectively, the NGT had said that many rural centres are rapidly turning into urban conglomerates and if their solid wastes are not managed urgently we would be inviting several diseases with disastrous consequences.
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The apex monitoring committee will be headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice D K Jain and also comprise chairman, Central Pollution Control Board, joint secretary of Ministry of the Environment and Forests and joint secretary and mission director of the Swachh Bharat Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
The regional monitoring committees shall ensure effective implementation of the Rules, 2016. The regional monitoring committees shall also ensure that mixing of bio-medical waste with municipal solid waste does not take place and bio-medical waste and processed in accordance with the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016. The regional monitoring committees may meet preferably once in every week or longer intervals as per requirements. Outstation members may participate by videoconferencing unless physical presence is required, it said.
There will also be state-level committees headed by secretary of the Urban Development Department with Secretary of the Environment Department as members, it had said.
The representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Boards would assist the state-level committees. The state-level committees may have interactions with the local bodies preferably once in two weeks. The local bodies may furnish report to the state committees twice a month, the tribunal had said.
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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.