The National Green Tribunal has directed the authorities in Uttar Pradesh to take action against unregulated dumping of solid waste in the Yamuna flood plains, noting that steps taken for handling the waste are not adequate.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said despite monitoring for over five years and also taking coercive measures, no progress is visible.
"Violation of environment laws is as serious if not more that any other criminal law. Failure of the authorities to check such crimes is failure of the public trust reposed in such authorities for protection of citizens' rights.
"It appears that no serious action is taken by senior officers against such blatant failures which is unfortunate, leaving the citizens at the mercy of law violators. We expect that the compost plant may now be made operational at the earliest," the bench said.
The segregated material recovered in the process should be properly routed and no backlog of unprocessed waste be stored to create legacy waste, the NGT said.
"Bio-mining of legacy waste be executed and entire area be developed with plantation and landscape following guidelines on buffer zone developed by CPCB. A bio-diversity park may also be developed in the area.
"We are making these observations on account of disappointment with the conduct of the authorities in concerned and with a hope that they will now understand their responsibilities and take stern measures in the matter," the bench said.
The tribunal accepted the recommendations of the Oversight Committee headed by former high court judge and directed the Uttar Pradesh administration to take steps in the matter accordingly forthwith in the interest of protection of the environment and public health.
The directions came while hearing of a plea by seer Madhumangal Shukla who had approached NGT against "illegal" and "unregulated" disposal of solid waste in Vrindavan.
Shukla had alleged that entire environment of Vrindavan was suffering due to the lack of implementation of Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 as garbage was being disposed of carelessly in drains and on the banks of river Yamuna, leading to clogging and stagnation.