In order to deal with huge quantities of trash, the National Green Tribunal has warned of imposing environmental compensation of Rs 5 lakh per violation on Delhi civic authorities whenever the waste-to-energy plants at Narela and Ghazipur are not run at their optimum capacity. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also noted that there was no clear roadmap ready to deal with the massive quantity of waste generated in the city which remains with the municipal corporations after part of it is sent to these plants.
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“We expect both these plants to operate to their optimum capacity without causing any pollution either in their processing or through their emissions. They shall operate strictly as per the prescribed norms in relation to ambient air quality, stack emissions provided under the Air Act and collect and dispose of waste strictly in terms of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
“In the event, they are found at default at any one point of time, they shall be liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs 5 lakh for each default,” the bench said.
The tribunal said the default would be determined by the joint inspection team comprising member secretaries of Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, senior scientist from Environment Ministry and a member to be nominated by the Director of IIT, Delhi.
The bench also reserved its order on a petition filed by residents of Sukhdev Vihar, alleging that the plant in their area was releasing “toxic” emissions, affecting their health.
The residents had submitted that the plant had obtained an environmental clearance, authorisation and consent to operate (CTO) on the condition that it would use RDF and biogas technology to convert waste to energy.
But contrary to its promise, it has allegedly been incinerating mixed waste, which has lowered its efficiency and causing air pollution, the petition said.