Skip to main content

Attach property of Rajkot solid waste contractors if they don't pay up Rs 25 lakh to affected farmers: NGT

By Our Representative
India’s powerful quasi-judicial environmental watchdog, National Green Tribunal (NTG), in its order on February 14, has asked the Rajkot Municipal Corporation’s (RMC’s) sold waste management site contractors, Hanjer Biotech Energy, to pay up Rs 25 lakh to the affected farmers without any delay, adding, if the contractors refuse to comply within 15 days, the district collector, Rajkot, should intervene and attach their properties and recover the dues. The order has come as a big boon to the farmers, who had complained that their fields had got damaged as a result of the contractors’ failure to comply by environmental norms.
The order says, “We direct the Collector of Rajkot (Gujarat) to recover amount of Rs 25 lakh from M/s Hanger Biotech Energy P Ltd, initially by issuing a show cause notice of 15 days and if no response is received, then immediately by issuing warrant of recovery and causing attachment of the property of the project proponent, which may be sold in auction.” It adds, “The properties be attached as stock and barrel for the purpose of such sale, including the machinery, shares and the concerned bank accounts, may be directed to be freezed.”
Asking the authorities to comply by the order with immediate effect and send a “compliance report” by March 25, the order has come following the failure of the contractors to approach the Supreme Court against the NGT order of December 2013 to pay the amount within a stipulated period. “The counsel for project proponent had sought time to approach the Hon’ble Apex Court, seeking stay as regards payment of amount (Rs 25 lakh) as directed by this tribunal. We have not received any stay order from the Hon’ble Apex Court. No intimation is received about filing of proceedings in the Hon’ble Apex Court”, the NTG explained, justifying its tough stance.
The RMC was in contract with the Hanjer Biotech Energies since 2005 for providing adequate service facility, maintaining hygiene, waste conservation and managing solid waste at the municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill site in accordance with the MSW rules. “But as a result of complete mismanagement of the waste at the landsite, the rural population of the surrounding regions was facing problems of leachate-groundwater problem, adversely impacting ambient air quality, and degradation of the quality of farmlands”, says Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, which had approached the NGT.
“The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) issued several notices to the RMC, yet the latter refused to take any action towards rectifying the situation. As a result, a case was filed by the non-profit environmental organization, Paryavaran Mitra, environmentalist Shailendrasinh Jadeja and residents of village Nakravadi, which was affected the most, in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the GPCB, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the RMC and the HBEPL for polluting the atmosphere around”, Pandya added.
The main demands raised in the case were:
· The present site where MSW was being dumped should be closed, as it was selected against rules.
· Compensation should be paid to the people who have been affected in terms of livestock, health, village common lands, source of water, agriculture etc.
· During the visit to the landfill by authorities various irregularities were seen, even then no action was taken.
· There should be restitution of land in question to its original position.
During the arguments that ensued, the GPCB said it took prompt action against the RMC when complaints were received in the matter. It also said that if any harsh or monetary restrictions were imposed leading to cancellation of contract it would have led to environmental pollution. It simultaneously said that the RMC had failed to ensure compliance to ensure air pollution control, nor did it build any proper fencing to ensure that the residual waste that was being dumped remained within the defined premises. As for the CPCB, it said the matter concerned Gujarat, and it had no role to play, and declined to give any comments.

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Top ex-Gujarat babu tells Modi: Not yoga but solar system is our biggest source of energy

By Rajiv Shah  An email alert to Counterview from a top ex-IAS bureaucrat, termed as Gujarat’s turnaround man for revamping loss-making state public sector undertakings (PSUs), has sought to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on the Yoga day – that the ancient Indian exercise provides an “infinite solutions” within ourselves, offering “the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.