Green Court asks District magistrate Poonch why there is no clear stand as to why the action has not been taken till now for the realisation of the amount of 243.9 lakhs which has been imposed by the J&K PCC for violations caused by municipal council Poonch

Srinagar: In order to stop dumping of municipal solid and biomedical waste on the banks of Poonch river, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) sought a detailed report from J&K Pollution Control Committee (PCC), Chief Executive Officer, Poonch and District magistrate Poonch within eight weeks. 

The three member bench led by Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava, Judicial member, Arun Kumar Tyagi and expert member A.Senthill Vel directed authorities to provide all details of legacy waste, daily solid waste generation and treatment details and details of leachate collection and treatment in a tabulated form before the bench. 

“Let the reports be filed by the respondent J&K PCC and the CEO, Poonch and District Magistrate, Poonch within eight weeks by e-mail at preferably in the form of searchable PDF/ OCR Support PDF and not in the form of Image PDF,” court directed. 

The Green court passed the direction in a plea filed by social and environmental activist, Raja Muzaffar Bhat seeking remedial measures and action from government authorities to address the dumping of solid and biomedical waste on the banks of Poonch river by the Municipal committee of the Poonch district. 

Earlier, the Tribunal on 13 March, 2024 had taken note of the statement of Executive Engineer, J&K PCC who had appeared virtually and had informed that the District Officer had visited the site and had found no improvement and on the contrary, he had noticed dumping of solid waste on the bank of the river.  

The official had also informed that the action was initiated for imposition of fresh environmental clearance (EC) for the violation, in addition to the earlier action of imposition of Rs. 81 Lakhs on the Municipal Council,Poonch for the period 25 July, 2022 to 01 November, 2022.  

On this the Tribunal had also taken note of the Municipal Council, Poonch who had neither filed the reply nor had appeared in the matter and the violation was continuing 

In that background, the Tribunal had directed the CEO, Municipal Council, Poonch to appear virtually today but was not present.However, the fresh report was filed by J&K PCC disclosing that for the subsequent period of 343 days, the environmental clearance of Rs.162.9 lakhs has been imposed upon the Municipal Council, Poonch.  

It was further stated that neither the earlier amount of EC of Rs. 81 lakhs nor the later amount of EC of Rs. 162.9 lakhs has been deposited by the MC, Poonch. 

The official said that for the earlier amount,thrice the communication was sent to the Deputy Commissioner/District Magistrate, Poonch but no action has been taken.  

The Tribunal while taking the submissions on record said, “There is no clear stand of the District Magistrate, Poonch as to why the action has not been taken till now for the realization of the EC which has been imposed by the J&K PCC.  

Earlier, Municipal Council, Poonch had informed that 11 tonnes of municipal solid waste is generated in Municipal Council Poonch everyday out of which only five tonnes is processed.  

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