The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Union territory of Chandigarh for not framing a policy on solid waste management and stayed further construction in these places.
The bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and S Abdul Nazeer said in its order: “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.”
Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A N S Nadkarni placed the details received from the states and UTs on solid waste management before the bench. After perusing the same, the court rued that some states and UTs had not come out with a plan to deal with solid waste.
The court said “in case the states have the interest of the people in mind and cleanliness and sanitation, they should frame a policy in terms of the Solid Waste Management Rules so that the States remain clean”.
The issue of waste management had cropped up when the court was dealing with a 2015 incident of death of a seven-year-old boy due to dengue in Delhi.
The bench also slapped a cost of Rs 3 lakh each on Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and the UT of Chandigarh for not framing the state policy and not complying with its orders. The court said the costs imposed on these states and UT should be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee in two weeks for its utilisation for juvenile justice issues.
The court imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh on Andhra Pradesh for not filing an affidavit as per the court’s July 10 direction and observed that even the Centre was not aware whether the state had framed the policy. The court gave Kerala two weeks to file its affidavit in this regard.