Waste-to-energy plant: NGT to hear case this week

Srinagar, Nov 19: National Green Tribunal (NGT) has posted for hearing a case regarding setting up of waste-to-energy plant at Achan, the only trash dumping site in this summer capital of the state, in the week commencing from Monday.
The case had come up for hearing on November 15 and a bench of NGT headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar posted it for hearing on in the week commencing from November 20.
Last month the NGT had asked the state government to take all steps for making the plant operational.
The NGT has observed that dumping site at Achan continues to adversely impact environment because of inaction on the part of State. It has also warned the government against delay in decision on setting up of the maiden waste-to-energy power plant in the state.
“In this matter the State of Jammu and Kashmir had taken numerous adjournments, in fact years, to finalise the tenders for establishment of waste to energy plant. We are informed that they are awaiting approval of the Cabinet, otherwise it has already been approved by all the agencies and instrumentalities in the State,” the NGT bench also comprising Justice Raghuvendra S. Rathore (judicial member) and Dr. Nagin Nanda (expert member), had said.
“We make it clear that if the final decision is not taken by the State Government before the next date of hearing, it will be liable to pay exemplary cost for taking unjustifiable adjournment before us in a matter which is of great public importance, as it is the first Waste to Energy Plant to be established in the State of Jammu and Kashmir,” the green panel had said, underlining that plant was to be located in the city of Srinagar which is generating huge quantity of municipal and other wastes.
“The wastes collected is not only the one generated in the city of Srinagar, but even from the surrounding areas’ and it is being dumped at a place which is causing serious environmental pollution, pollution to groundwater by leachates and water bodies like Dal Lake and its various segments.”
It had said the people of the city, particularly the residents of nearby villages have a right for decent environment which is being “degrading continuously, affecting public health and adverse environmental impact because of inaction on the part of the State.”
“We are informed that nearly 450 MT of waste per day is being generated. To us it appears that this would convert the most beautiful city of our country into a waste dump deposit centre. We have been granting adjournment to the State of (J&K), considering that the State will take effective steps, but we are now realizing that for all this time the Tribunal had been passing various directions which still remain to be complied with and there is a need for expeditious action on the part of the State,” the NGT had added.