NEW DELHI: Odisha government to present a status report on various initiatives regarding the solid waste management in the state by March 26, as directed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
A bench comprising of Adarsh Kumar Goel, NGT Chairperson, Justice SP Wangadi, Justice K Ramakrishnan , and Nagin Nanda, expert member asked the Chief Secretary to be present in person in the tribunal. The directions were given to the state to form a state-level committee with Justice P K Mohanty, former judge of Orissa High Court as the chairperson of the committee to monitor implementation of Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016.
The bench observed, “The Member Secretary of the State Pollution Control Board will be the Member Secretary of the Committee, other members being Secretaries, Urban Development/Local Bodies/Local Self-Government, Environment, Rural Development Health and representatives of CPCB, wherever office of CPCB exists or representative is nominated by CPCB.”
The committee will have its first meeting before February 15 and meetings will be conducted at regular intervals as per the directions of the chairperson of the committee.
“We have already noted that ‘Polluter Pays’ principle can be applied by every regulatory authority and compensation can be and must be recovered from every polluter and the amount which is recovered is spent for the restoration of the environment. The compensation for damage to the environment will be payable by each of the states/ UTs at the rate of Rs 1 crore per month for each of the Priority- I and Priority- II stretches, Rs 50 lakh per month for stretches in Priority- III and Rs 25 lakh per month each for Priority- IV and Priority- V stretches,” said the bench.
NGT directed Odisha government to form a special task force in each district to create awareness about the Solid Waste Management rules, 2016, by involving educational, religious and social organizations including local eco-clubs.