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

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Anti-liquor march: Women padyatris "resolve" to occupy Karnataka state assembly

By Abhay, Swarna Bhat*
At a huge public convention held at Siddaganga Mutt on the Republic Day, January 26, 2019, in the presence of Sanehalli Sri Panditaradhya Swamiji, padyatris of the Madya Nishedha Andolana decided to intensify the ongoing liquor ban movement. A resolution passed at the convention, in which thousands of rural women joined in, the marching women declared that on reaching Bengaluru will “occupy Vidhan Soudha” on Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom day, January 30.