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

WHO move can 'enable' India to detain citizens, restrict freedom, control media

Counterview Desk  In an an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with copies to concerned Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and MPs,  health rights network  People’s Alliance for Public Health (PAPH alias JanSwasthya Morcha), has urged that India should not be a signatory to the World Health Organization ( WHO) Pandemic Agreement and Amendments to the  International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005  to be adopted at the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva from 27th May to 1st June, 2024.

'Enough evidence': Covid vaccines impacted women's reproductive health

By Deepika*  In 2024, the news outlets have suddenly started reporting about covid vaccine side effects in a very extensive manner. Sadly, the damage is already done.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Uncertainty in Iran': Raisi brokered crucial Chabahar Port deal with India

By Pranjal Pandey*  Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian President, and the country’s foreign minister were tragically found deceased on May 20, 2024, shortly after their helicopter crashed in foggy conditions. In response, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly appointed a relatively unknown vice president as the interim leader.

Informal, outdoor workers 'excluded': Govt of India's excessive heat policies

Counterview Desk  Top civil rights network, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), has demanded urgent government action to protect millions of outdoor workers from extreme heat and heatwaves, insisting declaration of heatwaves as climatic disaster.

Desist from academic censorship, stop threatening scholars: Letter to ICMR

Counterview Desk  In a letter to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director, the Universal Health Organisation (UHO) which consists of prominent health experts, has insisted that the Government of India’s top medical research agency should lead high quality research on vaccine safety and “desist from academic censorship”.

Growing stream of pollution infecting homes, bodies in US, Vietnam

By Erica Cirino*  Louisiana’s “River Parishes,” located along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, shoulder some of the worst industry impacts in the United States. As a result, this region has acquired a grim reputation as “ Cancer Alley .”