Pulling up the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for setting up a waste processing plant in Baner, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday directed the civic body to close the plant and shift it to another site within four months, and use the present site for the designated purpose of developing a bio-diversity park.
While hearing a petition on the matter, a bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and S K Singh, and expert members S S Garbyal and Nagin Nanda, issued the order to shift the plant from the existing location, citing violation of various norms.
Advocate Saurabh Kulkarni, who was representing the petitioners, said, “The PMC, in association with Noble Exchange Ltd, had started a waste-to-energy plant at survey number 48 in Baner on Sus Road. There were citizens’ complaints about a foul odour emanating from the plant. The residents filed an application before the NGT, on which the bench observed that the plant was violating norms of environmental laws and it needed to be shut immediately. The bench also directed shifting of the plant and setting up a bio-diversity park on the land.”
The bench constituted a joint committee comprising officials from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), District Collectorate and the PMC to monitor further course of action for implementation of the order.
According to CPCB guidelines, a waste processing plant can’t be set up within 500 metres of an “inhabitation”, but there are 15 apartments and a few housing societies located within a distance of 200 metres from the Baner plant. “Thus, the plant is in violation of right to clean environment of the inhabitants and is against statutory norms,” the bench said.
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