The Madras High Court has directed the Salem Municipal Corporation, to strictly follow the undertaking given by it to the court, by which it has assured that there will be no process of segregating Biodegradable waste and Non Biodegradable waste, in the Kakkayan burial ground, and no dumping of solid waste in huge quantities. The Corporation has set up and been operating a micro compost plant, inside the burial ground.
A division bench of Justice Dr Vinit Kothari and Justice R Suresh Kumar, while disposing off a public interest litigation, filed by P Rajagopal, said
"The respondent Salem Corporation shall strictly adhere to the rules in this regard in running the Micro Compost Centres as per the undertaking given, before this Court in the earlier litigation."
According to the petitioner, "Municipal Corporation has not followed the norms and there has been haphazard dumping of solid wastes, which has not been processed properly in the centre, thereby it is causing pollution, especially air pollution."
The corporation opposed the plea affidavit filed by the Municipal Commissioner, stated that "Based on the SWM Rules 2016, the Salem Corporation, decided to create 12 micro composting centers, in 9 locations and 3 of them are constructed, here at Kakkayankadu. All the centers are operating after fulfilling the above SWM Rules. In respect of the alleged micro compost center, functioning in Kakkayan Burial Ground, there are no Anganwadi Centers or schools, located near the Micro Compost Centre, as stated by the petitioner."
Further, it said "The process involves no heating or burning and hence no objectionable odour or fumes produced. Hence this method is not causing any health hazards or nuisance to the public residing in the surroundings as well as students. There is no practice of dumping of solid waste in the burial ground. Biomedical wastes are not brought to these centres."
Based on the submissions made by the counsel for the corporation and the affidavit filed, court said "Insofar as the location of the centre in question is concerned, there can be no quarrel as it is well within the norms prescribed and the petitioner also has not expressed any grievance with regard to the location. However, some grievance has been expressed by the learned counsel for the petitioner with respect to the undertaking given by the corporation, before this Court. There can be no quarrel on the issue of the undertaking given by the Salem Municipal Corporation in the earlier round of litigation that the undertaking would be scrupulously followed. Except this, we feel that there is no further issue pending to be agitated.
Advocate J.Sudhakaran appeared for petitioner.
Special Govt.Pleader, J.Pothiraj, – for R1 & R3 (District Collector & Tashildar)
Advocate S.Sathish – for Corporation
Advocate C.Kasirajan – for R4 (The District Environmental Engineer
Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Salem.)
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