The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday pulled up the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and held it responsible for the mess in the garbage processing plant at Dadumajra. Also, the tribunal ordered the completion of the legacy mining work at the dumping ground at the earliest.
Sources said that the tribunal while acting on a report prepared by a committee appointed by it stated that the civic body is responsible for tonnes of mixed waste that is lying in the garbage processing plant.
The exact details will be available once the order is out. After the case hearing, all the officers of the corporation tried to hush up the matter and stopped responding to calls and messages which were sent to know what happened in the hearing.
The next hearing is now scheduled to take place on February 14, 2020.
“The NGT was of the view that MC is responsible for giving mixed waste to the processing plant and it was not in a segregated form. It observed that the corporation only has to lift this mess inside the processing plant,” an official stated.
In October, the NGT-appointed committee had inspected the Dadumajra waste processing plant after the Jaypee group running it blamed the corporation for giving mixed waste. Jaypee had blamed the civic body for the mess inside the plant and stated that the corporation was not giving the waste in a segregated manner. Jaypee had filed a petition against the corporation in the NGT, following which the tribunal-appointed committee had inspected the plant and given its report.
Also, the NGT in its hearing on Thursday directed the corporation that the project of legacy mining should be completed by March 2020. So, the work which is supposed to be completed in 18 months’ time will have to be done in just four months. The legacy mining work began on November 6. It is being done at a cost of Rs 34 crore by a Nagpur-based agency. In this, the site will first be dug up. There will be different sizes of trommels which will segregate different types of waste from that. From that the C and D waste will go to C and D plant, biodegradable waste will be converted into compost, plastic waste will be converted into RDF. The area will be 100 per cent cleared of waste.
After the hearing, MC officers did not answer calls and messages which were sent to clarify as to what happened before the NGT. Messages and calls to Commissioner K K Yadav and medical officer of health Amrit Pal Singh went unanswered.
How officials misled
In the General House held last time, the Municipal Corporation officers kept telling that the hearing of the case was on November 29. Councillors were in for a surprise on Thursday when they got to know that a clerk and a law official were sent to attend the hearing which was in a way kept quite hushed up on Thursday and no pre-meeting was held so that they could plead the case well.
Sources said that law officer Rakesh Kumar did not attend the hearing as he had an urgent piece of work to do.
Case not being pleaded well
Already questions have been raised in the General House as to how the case was not being pleaded well before the National Green Tribunal.
In the House at that time, BJP councillors Davesh Moudgil and Arun Sood had specifically pressed to have good lawyers to plead the case as they smelled a rat in the presenting of the case.
The councillors had questioned how a company that was erring on several counts was having the upper hand when the corporation doesn’t want to continue with its dealing with the firm.
The corporation had been saying that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the corporation a decade ago with this firm was faulty.
In 2017, the civic body had mutually decided with Jaypee to terminate the agreement and the fact that the salvage value was to be paid to the Jaypee group. They wanted to take over the plant and till date, they have not been able to plead well, as per the councillors. Chandigarh generates almost 450 tonnes of garbage every day.
UT Adviser convenes review meeting
UT Adviser Manoj Parida on Thursday convened a meeting of officials on solid waste management. Parida has to depose before the NGT on January 10, 2020. He was informed that only 30 per cent to 40 per cent segregation is taking place in the city. Segregation has already been made mandatory from October 12
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