NGT unhappy over legacy waste at Bandhwari landfill site in Gurgaon, says seriousness lacking

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New Delhi, Mar 10 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has expressed displeasure over clearing of legacy waste at Bandhwari landfill site in Gurgaon saying seriousness of the concerned authorities is lacking.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel noted that as per the report filed by the Central Pollution Control Board no steps are being taken for decontamination of groundwater and progress in treatment of legacy waste is insignificant. Legacy wastes are the wastes that have been collected and kept for years at some barren land or a place dedicated for Landfill (an area to dump solid waste).

Out of 33 lakh ton dumped waste, less than 1 lakh ton (which is hardly 2 per cent ) has been remediated in the last more than one year, the tribunal noted.

The NGT said that this performance does not match the Constitutional obligation of the State or the mandate of the statutory rules on the subject and it seems that seriousness of the concerned authorities is lacking.

“From the above, only option left to is require the State to pay compensation for continuing damage to the environment till compliance, and direct prosecution of the concerned Secretary, but on assurance of the Municipal body, we give last opportunity for ensuring meaningful action on the ground level by the next date. “Future action plan must provide for placing information about day-to-day progress on the website and to ensure processing of current waste at some other site. We understand that site for Faridabad has already been identified which may be made operational at the earliest for the purpose of processing the current waste,” the bench said.

The Secretary Urban Development/Local Bodies and the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation may remain present in person through video conference with report of meaningful action on next date, the NGT said.

The green panel had earlier directed the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation to clear 25 lakh tonnes of legacy waste at Bandhwari landfill within six months and warned that failure to do so may result in coercive action, including non-payment of salaries.

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 and Faridabad were disposing 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. PTI PKS RKS RKS