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NGT’s Rs 200 cr compensation on GoN brings to focus Dimapur’s Sunrise Colony Council case

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 27: The National Green Tribunal’s recent decision to levy a compensation of Rs 200 crore on Nagaland Government for failing to scientifically manage liquid and solid waste in the State has brought into focus another case against the latter pending before the Eastern Zone Bench of the Tribunal.
Filed on May 6 this year, the petitioner in this case is Sunrise Colony Council of Burma Camp, Dimapur. According to records, the case falls under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986.
The Council has alleged that Dimapur Municipal Council is dumping solid waste and other wastes at a site near the colony “in complete violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016”.
“It is alleged that the dumping site is ill-maintained and located in the low-lying area which percolates and contaminates the ground water resources through leaching and therefore has a direct effect upon the life and health of the residents of the area including flora and fauna.
“It is also alleged that plastic, rubber and other toxic material are being burnt openly leading to toxic smell in the air. It is further alleged that the dumping site is less than 30 meters away from the Dhansiri River and is located about 40-50 metres from the human habitation, thus violating the sitting criteria for selection of dumping site in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016”, stated an order issued by the Bench on July 1.
It has already heard the case on six occasions. During the latest hearing held on November 18, Enatoli Sema, the Counsel appearing for Nagaland Pollution Control Board, submitted that a counter-affidavit along with a report of the Committee has also been filed.
However, the Registry of the Tribunal informed that the Committee report has been filed without affidavit.
“Ms. Enatoli Sema, learned Counsel, is directed to file a fresh affidavit along with report of the Committee within two weeks after serving copy of the same on all the learned Counsel for the parties before filing in the Tribunal”, stated an order.
The next hearing will be on December 22.
Legacy waste sites
When the Tribunal’s Principal Bench issued the order on November 24 levying compensation of Rs 200 crore on Nagaland Government, it had remarked that legacy waste dump sites have resulted in huge damage to the environment and population in the vicinity of such dump sites “who have suffered in safety, health and comfort”.
“For compensating them for such damage, one third of land occupied by legacy dump sites (on reclamation) needs to be reserved for dense forest and in the process of afforestation, CAMPA funds can be utilised in accordance with the provisions of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority Act, 2016 (CAMPA Act). One third of reclaimed land out of the said dump site needs to be reserved for integrated waste management facilities.
“Remaining one third can be used for any other purpose, consistent with the above purposes, including a part of it being utilised for monetising, if funding is required for tackling the legacy waste. Legacy waste clearance has to be in minimum further time as laid down statutory timelines has already expired and serious damage is taking place. It may be noted that remediation of legacy sites may be one time affair and such situations should not arise in future. User of land, to be reclaimed, needs to be declared in advance so that further steps can be taken in that direction”, the November 24 order read.
According to the NGT, execution plan for solid waste management, thus, would include setting up of requisite waste processing plants (centralised and decentralised) and remediation of left out legacy waste. Bioremediation/bio-mining process need to be executed as per CPCB guidelines and the stabilised organic waste from biomining as well as from compost plants need to comply with laid down specifications, it stated.
“Other material recovered during such processes is to be put to use through authorised dealers/handlers/users. Instead of creating more dumping sites for waste generated on day-to-day basis, waste processing plants of adequate capacity should be set up so that no further legacy waste is generated”, the order stated.
(Page News Service)