Noting that there was a need to adopt best practices to assist in implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, the principal bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the newly-appointed apex monitoring committee to frame guidelines for all states to install CCTV cameras to help tackle illegal dumping of waste.
The court in its recent order also asked to consider setting up control rooms wherein citizens can upload photos of garbage, which may be monitored by the local bodies, and make available such information on the website of the state committees.
The tribunal has formed three panels- apex monitoring committee, regional monitoring committees and state-level committees to oversee the steps to be taken to give effect to the directions of the tribunal, including proper implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
“The committees may also consider, wherever viable, guidelines for using CCTV cameras already installed or installation of fresh CCTV cameras wherever necessary at dumping or other suitable sites and footage of CCTV cameras may be viewed on regular basis by suitable authorities,” the order
It has also asked that all garbage collection vans be GPS-enabled to monitor regular collection and consider performance audit and laid down guidelines.
While expressing anguish, a six-member panel said the tribunal is facing frequent grievances over non-compliance of statutory rules with photographic evidence of heaps of garbage lying on the streets showing utter failure on the part of the municipal bodies in performing their duties.
The order further says that most of the states have no plans to deal with the waste that had piled up over decades – known as legacy dumping – which has already become virtual mountains in some of the cities causing environmental disasters.
“The role of the apex monitoring committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice D K Jain, is to interact with the concerned ministries and the regional monitoring committees. The apex monitoring committee may formulate guidelines/directions which may be useful to the regional monitoring committees and the states/Union Territories. The apex monitoring committee may meet preferably every month to take stock of the situation,” the tribunal said.
The green panel headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that the municipal solid waste (MSW) management is one of the most serious challenges to environment protection and although the revised rules have been framed in the year 2016, but implementation remains a problem in most of the states.
Observing that most of the states have no plans to deal with solid wastes in rural areas and hilly terrains effectively, the NGT said that many rural centres are rapidly turning into urban conglomerates and if their solid wastes are not managed urgently “we would be inviting several diseases with disastrous consequences.”
Source:: The Navhind Times