Rashid Paul

Solid Waste Management: HC imposes cost of Rs 25K on UDD

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Srinagar:  The J&K High Court Friday imposed Rs 25000 cost on J&K Urban Development Department (UDD) for responding recklessly on its orders on a matter relating to solid waste management.

“It appears that the respondents are not bothered about compliances with the orders of the court. Even more distressing is the fact that an important issue, as important as the notification of Solid Waste Management by-laws is not being treated with the seriousness which it deserves,” said a division bench of the court.

“In case after case”, the bench said “we are receiving complaints of the lack of any method in the management of Solid Wastes in the Union Territory of J&K”.

Accordingly it imposed costs of Rs 25,000 on the UDD. The department has been directed to deposit the amount with the Advocates Welfare Fund within a period of two weeks.

The court in an order passed on 17th of August, 2020, had directed the respondents to place before it the details with regard to “Model Solid Waste Management by-laws of the local authorities”.

The authorities included all Panchayats, Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils, Municipal Committees, Development Authorities and other local establishments in the Union Territories of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.

“It is unfortunate that let alone implementation, we are not even being informed as to the status of the notification of the Solid Waste Management by-laws by the local authorities”, rued the court.

The court, however, appreciated the Sonamarg Development Authority for filing a status report informing it on the subject of the adoption and notification of the solid waste management by-laws.

The Authority according to its report has installed and commissioned one MT Electromagnetic Disintegrator Unit for the purpose.

According to a draft action plan for municipal solid waste management 2018, J&K on an average generates 3,134 tonnes of solid waste a day.

In the face of “low level of services” the solid waste threatens the public health as well as the environment, the report said.

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