In an order that may have far reaching effect,the National Green Tribunal Tuesday said that dumping of garbage and municipal solid waste on the banks of the river Beas in Kullu district will attract a penalty of Rs 1 lakh. The government officials will also be held accountable for lapses.
Whosoever is found to be throwing or dumping any such material or effluent directly or indirectly into the Beas or its tributaries or even at its banks,will have to pay a sum of
Rs 1 lakh as compensation on the basis of the polluter pays principle, a principal bench of the tribunal said.
The bench comprising Justices Swatanter Kumar,U D Salvi,D K Agarwal,P S Rao and Ranjan Chatterjee passed the order on a PIL in Shimla.
The PIL is based on a letter written by a local resident seeking Himachal Pradesh High Courts intervention to check and prevent direct and indirect pollution in river Beas and its tributaries. Expressing displeasure over the rise in pollution level in the river through dumping of the municipal solid waste and release of untreated sewage,the tribunal directed all the local municipal bodies and officials to stop throwing any waste directly or indirectly into Beas or its tributaries.
It also asked the Pollution Control Board to depute a senior officer who,along with a representative of the rank of environmental engineer from CPCB,will collect samples for testing.The committee will also inspect and examine whether all the hotels on the river bank have clearance from the Pollution Control Board and other competent authorities and where they are discharging their waste.
Meanwhile,in another order,the tribunal also imposed a penalty of Rs 1 lakh on Solan Municipal Committee for allowing burning of the municipal waste in the open.