SC: No Construction Without Solid Waste Management Policy

Published on 04 Sep 2018 by Shivi

The Supreme Court said it was “pathetic” that some States and Union Territories had not bothered to frame a solid waste management policy.

The court ordered that further construction activities be stopped in some States and Union Territories that remained unmindful of the interests of their people to live in a clean environment.

A Bench headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur imposed fines on some States and the Union Territory of Chandigarh for not placing on record their respective policies under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

While Andhra Pradesh was ordered to pay ?5 lakh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh were imposed costs of ?3 lakh each.

The amount would have to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within two weeks and would be used for juvenile justice issues.

The SC noted that other States, including, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Arunachal Pradesh had deposited the costs imposed on them on July 10.

“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 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,” the Supreme Court observed in its order on August 31.

Next hearing on October 9

The court scheduled the case for further hearing on October 9. It is hearing the case suo motu since the death of a seven-year-old boy due to dengue in Delhi in 2015.

Justice Lokur had condemned the attitude of the authorities at one point, saying “if they want the people to live in dirt, filth and garbage, what can be done then.”

During the earlier hearing on July 10, some States did not attend court.

Hence, the Bench imposed ?1 lakh each on the defaulting States and UTs whose lawyers were present in court. These included Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Meghalaya, Punjab, West Bengal, Lakshadweep and Puducherry. For the remaining States/Union Territories, who were either not present or not represented by lawyers, the burden of costs went up to ?2 lakh.

“The tragedy is that more than two-third of the States / Union Territories in the country have neither bothered to comply with the orders passed by the Court nor bothered to comply with the directions given by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India,” the Supreme Court had observed then, calling it a “shocking state of affairs”.


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