Municipal Corporation (MC) Chandigarh on Saturday stopped all kinds of construction activities till further orders following a directive of the Supreme Court, which also slapped a penalty of Rs 3 lakh for not framing a Solid Waste Management (SWM) policy, Friday.
On Friday, the apex court had pulled up the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the union territory of Chandigarh for not framing any policy on Solid Waste Management and stayed further construction in these places.
The orders were issued by the bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and S Abdul Nazeer stating, “It is unfortunate that some states and union territories have not yet framed any policy under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The attitude of the states/union territories in not yet framing a policy even after two years is pathetic, to say the least. Further constructions in the states/union Territories are stayed until the policy is framed.”
Home Secretary, Chandigarh, Arun Gupta, said, “Technically, we have put a stay on the construction activities in Chandigarh according to the orders of the apex court. We had submitted our reply in the apex court, but it was not placed as our advocates did not appear yesterday (Friday).”
The MC Chandigarh has now urged the administration to issue a notification over the passed SMW rules-2018, approved in a House meeting on July 17.
Municipal Commissioner K K Yadav confirmed they had approved the SWM Rules-2018 in the house meeting on July 17 and send the file to the UT Administration for issuing a notification in this connection. “I believe a notification will be issued to this effect next week. As the apex courts’ orders do not specify, which kind of construction works are to be stayed, we stayed all kind of activities, including government and personal. The approved SWM Rules-2018 also contains regulations about the constructions and demolitions in Chandigarh. In the rules, we have defined that demolition material can not be dumped anywhere else, besides the corners, and the waste has to be recycled and used again in Chandigarh. We have instructed our teams, including of enforcement department, to check the construction activities throughout the city and appealed the people to stop till further orders,” said Yadav.
Under the rules, it will become mandatory for residents to give household waste to door-to-door collectors. Penalty has also been fixed for those who refuse to give waste to the collectors. A fine of Rs 200 has been fixed for residential units, while hotels and clubs will have to pay Rs 10,000 for each violation. A fine of Rs 5,000 will be imposed if solid waste is thrown on road or burnt. Littering will also invite a penalty of Rs 5,000. Vendors violating the rules would also be penalised.
The Solid Waste Management Rules-2016 were set up by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in April 2016. These rules mandated source segregation of waste in three streams, biodegradable, dry (plastic, paper, metal, wood etc) and domestic hazardous waste (diapers, napkins, mosquito repellents, cleaning agents) before handing it over to the collectors.