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Lip service & political pretence towards environmental concerns leaves Nagaland legacy of waste

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, JUNE 5: Years of lip service and political pretence towards environmental concerns have left Nagaland with an unappetising legacy of waste, literally.
According to ‘The State of India’s Environment 2023’ report jointly released by the Centre for Science and Environment CSE and Down to Earth, Nagaland is among the 11 States/Union Territories in the country that are yet to even start the process of remediating legacy waste.
Legacy waste refers to old municipal solid waste in landfills or dumpsites. It is a mix of partially or completely decomposed biodegradable waste, plastic waste, textiles, metals, glass and other components.
And remediation is an environment-friendly technique to separate soil and recyclables from the legacy waste.
“None of the States are on track to meet India’s deadline of remediating legacy waste by 2023. In fact, 11 States/UTs are yet to start the process. Six of these States are in the Northeast”, the report stated.
The NE States in said list of shame are Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura.
Under the Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0, all Urban Local Bodies are required to complete the remediation of their existing dumpsites by 2023 (for cities with less than 1 million population) and by 2024 (for cities with more than 1 million population) in compliance with environmentally sustainable methods.
Municipal solid waste
Per the report, India generated 160,039 tonnes of municipal solid waste a day in 2020-21. Out of this pile, 50,655 tonnes or 32% of it remained unaccounted for, “which means that we do not know what happened to them”.
This unaccounted waste usually ends up choking city drains or getting burned illegally, it stated.
Again, the report found that 6 of the 10 States with the highest unaccounted municipal waste were in East and Northeast India.
“They are Assam (96.55%), West Bengal (93.66%), Arunachal Pradesh (88.37%), Nagaland (60.82%), Manipur (32.59%) and Tripura (32.03%)”, it informed.
Municipal solid waste (MSW) is the residue or rubbish generated from households and commercial activities from municipalities. It excludes wastes generated from hospitals, industries and electrical and electronic wastes.
If left untreated, it aids in the spread of vector-borne diseases and causes air, soil and water pollution. Central Pollution Control Board is the nodal agency for monitoring MSW.
In the past 8 months alone, Nagaland Government has been at the receiving end of at least two reproachments from the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the statutory body that deals with environmental cases in the country.
In November last year, the NGT levied an environmental compensation of Rs 200 crore on Nagaland for not managing the solid and liquid waste “in violation of the mandate of law”.
Then in February this year, the Eastern Zone Bench of NGT ordered Nagaland Government to relocate within 1 year the present garbage dumpsite site near Sunrise Colony in Burma Camp, Dimapur.
This was after the Sunrise Colony Council filed an application before the Bench alleging that the Dimapur Municipal Council was dumping solid waste and other wastes at the dumpsite near the Colony in complete violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016.
(Page News Service)