Vrindavan, 2016.12.22 (VT): The National Green Tribunal’s direction against burning garbage is being thrown to the winds as the Vrindavan Municipal Council continues to set fire to local refuse.
Garbage is also being indiscriminately dumped in trenches, situated just a few meters away from the Yamuna riverbed on Maant Road. Garbage generated in Vrindavan is not being taken to the designated site where it could be disposed of safely. The site mentioned in an affidavit submitted to the Green Court is not being used for garbage disposal at all.
It should be noted that the NGT previously charged Mathura’s District Magistrate a fine of Rs. 5 lakh (500,000) for failing to prevent the dumping of solid waste on the banks of the sacred river there. A fine of a similar amount was also imposed on the Vrindavan Municipality, while the UP Pollution Board was fined one lakh (100,000) rupees and the UP State Government were fined 50,000 rupees.
Earlier the NGT ordered an immediate ban on use of plastic and polythene in Vrindavan. The district authorities have clearly been told to stop burning garbage and make proper arrangements for solid waste disposal.
That fines have been imposed on several government agencies was confirmed by the report of a court commissioner appointed by the Tribunal, who visited the garbage sites of Vrindavan and collected photographic evidence to expose the truth.
The Vrindavan Municipal Council has now filed a review petition in the Supreme Court of India, appealing against the fines imposed on the Municipality.
Meanwhile, the NGT has sought a reply from the UP Pollution Control Board requesting compliance with its orders. In its latest order on December second, the Court said, “Learned counsel appearing for the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board submits that he will take instructions and inform the Tribunal as to the compliance to the directions issued by the Tribunal. List this matter on 5th January, 2017.”
Talking to VT, the petitioner in this case, Madhumangal Shukla, said, “In fact the situation has worsened after the NGT order. The Municipality has become adamant against following the order of the NGT. One can see the garbage is being burnt in garbage bins all over town. We have been collecting evidence showcasing the non-compliance to the NGT’s order. We shall submit it in court during the next hearing.”
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