NGT fines Rs 3,500 crore on Bangladeshi government for huge waste management gap – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine of Rs 3,500 crore on the government of West Bengal for the huge gap in the production and processing of solid and liquid waste.
The green panel said the state government does not seem to prioritize setting up wastewater and solid waste management facilities, although according to the state budget for 2022-2023 there is Rs 12,818.99 crore for urban development and municipal affairs.
A bank headed by NGT chairman Justice AK Goel noted that health issues cannot be postponed into the long term and said it is the constitutional responsibility of the state and local authorities to ensure a pollution-free environment.
The NGT noted that of the 2,758 million liters of wastewater production per day in urban areas and the treatment capacity of 1505.85 MLD (by setting up 44 STPs), only 1268 MLD are reportedly treated, leaving a huge 1490 MLD gap. remains.
It said that as part of the right to life, which is also a basic human right and absolute liability of the state, there can be no lack of means to deny that right.
While there may be no objection to the use of central funds, the state cannot shirk its responsibility or delay its discharge under that pretense, he said.
“Considering the damage to the receiving environment, we believe that, in addition to complying with the rules as soon as possible, the state should pay compensation for previous violations.
“The final amount of the fee under the two heads (solid and liquid waste) is estimated at Rs 3,500 crore, which can be deposited into a separate shielded account by the state of West Bengal within two months,” the bank said.
If the violations continue, consideration may need to be given to paying additional damages, it added.
The tribunal said segregation of the solid waste at source and earliest processing closest to the production point with a defined destination is imperative.
“Compliance with environmental standards in waste management should be a high priority. The Tribunal has encountered cases of serious neglect and ongoing environmental damage due to lack of adequate steps for the treatment of solid and liquid waste.
“We believe that issues have long been identified and monitored by the tribunal. It is high time the state realized its duty to the law and citizens and introduced further oversight at its own level,” the bank said.
The clues came during the 2016 enforcement of municipal solid waste management rules and other environmental issues by states and territories of the Union.

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