The Hush Post: The Supreme Court has banned construction activity in Chandigarh and three more states. This, after they failed to make a policy on solid waste management, despite court directions.
The order came after additional solicitor general AS Nadkarni, appearing on behalf of the Centre, informed the court about the lapse. The remaining three states are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
A bench led by justice MB Lokur has also imposed a fine of Rs three lakh each on the states and Chandigarh for the sheer neglect.
“If they (governments) want the people to live in dirt, filth and garbage, what can be done then?” justice Lokur observed.
The SC had been keeping a tab on solid waste management in India ever since it took cognisance of the death of a boy in Delhi due to dengue.
“In case, the states have the interest of the people, their cleanliness and sanitation in mind, then they should frame a policy for solid waste management. The attitude of the states/Union Territories, not yet framing a policy even after two years, is pathetic, to say the least,” said the bench.
“Further constructions in the states/UT are stayed until the policy is framed,” the court said, listing the matter for further hearing on October 9. The court order does not specify the kind of construction activities banned.
As per the solid waste management rules 2016, states and union territories were to prepare a policy and solid waste management strategy.
The emphasis of the policy was to do away with waste reduction, re-use, recycling, recovery and optimum utilisation of various components of solid waste to ensure minimum discharge into landfill sites thereby reducing its environmental impact.
Chandigarh has been lagging behind in solid waste management, which also cost it its rank in the Swachh Survekshan 2018. There is no system in place for garbage segregation at household level, because of which the collection of segregated waste has been severely affected.
Only 30% waste is processed and rest is disposed-off at an open dumping ground in Dadumajra. The MC has lately started efforts to improve waste management by adopted the new bylaws that fixed penalties for not adhering to separate collection of waste and has also increased fine for littering.