The National Green Tribunal has ordered the Meerut Municipal Corporation to take adequate remedial action for removal of waste from the bank of the river Kaali in village Ganwari. The waste was disposed in an unscientific and unhygienic manner by the Municipal Authority at the said site and has allegedly taken 200 people ill along with 22 deaths.
An application was filed by Mr. Naveen Kumar and Mr. Vishal Kumar in the Principal Bench of the Tribunal pursuant to which the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Board (UPPCB) had reported to the Bench that the dumping site at river Kaali is in violation of conditions of environmental clearance and does not have the requisite consents to establish under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, nor authorization has been taken under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. It also reported that the site is leading to contamination of ground water in the nearby areas.
The UPPCB had, in a separate order, also directed the Municipal Corporation to take remedial action and had imposed a fine of Rs. 24 lakh on the corporation for damage to the environment.
The Bench comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Justice S.P. Wangdi and Dr. Nagin Nanda, in a previous order, had asked the Municipal Authority to file a status report regarding remedial action at the site. The Bench in the present order found the status report filed by the Municipal Corporation, which claimed that the waste had been collected and segregated from the site, to be unsatisfactory. It observed that the photographs of the site taken on 29th August 2020 by the applicant prove that waste is still lying unscientifically at the site unlike the claim of the Municipal Authority in its status report.
It ordered the Municipal Authority to take further remedial action and ordered the State PCB to oversee its implementation. It has also ordered the Oversight Committee formed by the Tribunal on 16 March 2020 under Justice SVS Rathore, former judge of the Allahabad High Court to file an independent report before the next date of hearing and has ordered the Secretary, Urban Development to furnish an action taken report with regards to its order.
The matter has been listed for hearing on 04 December 2020.