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Dumping of solid waste in Wular lake vicinity

SC upholds imposition of Rs 64 lakh penalty against MC B'pora

Post by Shafat Malik on Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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Bandipora, Oct 25: Supreme Court of India upheld the imposition of Rs 64 lakh penalty against Municipal Committee Bandipora.
The two member bench of Supreme Court of Justices, Ajay Rastogi and C T Ravikumar dismissed an appeal filed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Municipal Council Bandipora against the imposition of environmental compensation of Rs 64.21 lakh for unscientific dumping and disposal of solid waste in vicinity of Wular lake.
In February 2021, J&K Pollution Control Committee ( earlier called pollution control board) had imposed a penalty of Rs 64 lakh on Municipal Council Bandipora for violating Solid Waste Management Rules. The penalty was imposed as an environmental compensation case.
In the then notice by the PCC to MC Bandipora, it had said that illegal and unscientific dumping and disposal of solid waste by the Municipal Council Bandipora was received with photographic evidence and the matter was accordingly taken up with the concerned Deputy Commissioner, Director Urban Local Body and Executive Officer MC Bandipora through a series of communications but without any tangible improvement on the ground.
It had said that due to continuous failure of the Executive Officer MC Bandipora to dispose of solid waste in a scientific manner, a show-cause notice for levying of environmental compensation in light of the directions of the National Green Tribunal was served upon the Executive Officer Municipal Council Bandipora calling upon him there under to show reasons within 15 days as to why the environmental compensation be not levied upon him for these blatant violations of Environmental laws.
"Regional Director PCB has also received photographic evidence indicating that no improvement on the ground was brought about by the concerned municipal body and the solid waste is continuously dumped at Zalwan Nassu site in close proximity with the district headquarter Bandipora and on the catchment of Wular Lake near Zalwan Nallah in a haphazard and unscientific manner," it reads.
It had said that the Executive Officer Municipal Committee, Bandipora is directed to deposit a sum of Rs 64,21,000 as environmental compensation in the Environmental Compensation Fund within 45 days and on lapse of this period interest at the rate of 12 percent on the compensation amount shall accrue at the risk and responsibility of the Executive Officer.
Soon after MC Bandipora was asked to pay a fine, they went to National Green Tribunal (NGT) with an appeal against the said order and seeking exemption from paying the fine, but the Tribunal dismissed the appeal and directed the civic body to pay the compensation.
After this Municipal Council Bandipora went to the Supreme Court of India but the apex court dismissed the appeal.
The SC double bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravi Kumar in the order said that the court finds no ground to interfere with the impugned order passed by the National Green Tribunal.
The civil appeal was accordingly disposed-off.
The Supreme Court while reprimanding the J&K Government and Municipal Council Bandipora said that the state cannot play with the lives of people.
“Is it the way you deal with matters? Is it the consciousness of your state? You cannot play with the lives of the people. Deposit the fine,” the SC bench said while dismissing the plea filed by the civic body.
The counsel appearing for the Municipal Council Bandipora submitted that the penalty was levied despite the new dumping ground being ready. He submitted that the municipal council has taken remedial action for scientific management of solid waste.

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