Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (January 4, 2024)

Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal  

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 04 January 2024

Meerut Municipal Corporation needs funds for disposal of legacy waste at Lohiya Nagar

The Lohiya Nagar legacy waste dumpsite, approximately 20 years old, is currently undergoing processing and land reclamation through bio-remediation techniques with a capacity of 600 tonnes per day (TPD), according to a report by the municipal corporation, Meerut submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The processing capacity of the site will be enhanced based on future funding availability to efficiently dispose of both legacy and fresh waste generated in Meerut city, stated the report.

At present, the total consolidated fund allocation under the State Finance Commission to Meerut Nagar Nigam is approximately Rs 18-20 crore per month. The corporation has no other source to meet the expenses required for the quick disposal of legacy waste at Lohiya Nagar.

Meerut Nagar Nigam will focus on enhancing the legacy waste processing plant’s capacity from 600 TPD to 4,500 TPD. For this, a budget of Rs 50 crore is required. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) proposed during discussions that a transit order be planned at the Lohia Nagar legacy waste site.

The proposal submitted to NHAI for the plant upgrade estimated a cost of approximately Rs 50 crore, which will be transferred to Meerut Nagar Nigam after NHAI’s approval. This upgrade will enable the processing of approximately 135,000 tonnes of waste per month. With the increased capacity, the existing legacy waste can be processed and land can be reclaimed in approximately 9-12 months, following the upgraded plant’s installation, depending on seasonal factors.

After the land reclamation through bioremediation, old processing equipment will be relocated to nearby land owned by the Meerut Development Authority for future use.

Following the processing of the legacy waste at Lohia Nagar, the reclaimed land and the adjacent land owned by the Meerut Development Authority will be used to establish an integrated municipal solid waste processing facility with a capacity of 1,000 TPD. This facility will consist of wet waste processing units, dry waste processing units and construction and demolition waste processing units.

Bhandarli dumping site in Thane closed down, legacy waste being cleared: Thane Municipal Corporation

The dumping site at Bhandarli has been closed down and the disposal of the legacy waste is being done in accordance with the timeline, read a reply by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) to the NGT.

The dumping ground situated in Diva, Mumbai had already reached its peak capacity. Thus, the corporation was dumping waste and processing the same on a private land situated at Bhandarli, stated the report.

According to the municipal corporation, the waste dumped at the site at Bhandarli, Thane was segregated with the help of machines. The wet waste was converted into organic compost and the remaining was processed scientifically. The site at Bhandarli has been shut down with effect from October 25, 2023. The post-closure plan for it will be submitted to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), the submission said.

A leachate well has also been constructed at Bhandarli. The leachate is collected regularly and treated at the nearest sewage treatment plant situated in Mumbra in Thane. The new designated site at Daighar in Thane has commenced the operations for which the corporation has received authorisation and the consent to operate from the MPCB.

When it comes to the legacy waste for the entire city of Thane, the corporation, vide its letter resolution dated May 2, 2023, has shortlisted the company, MaRs Planning and Engineering Services Pvt Ltd. The consultant had submitted a detailed project report (DPR) for clearing legacy waste. The DPR was accepted by the municipal commissioner, TMC on December 1, 2023.

The legacy waste of the Bhandarli site is around 100,000 tonnes. After the issue of work order, total legacy waste will be cleared in 3 months, said the report, January 2, 2023.

UPPCB keeping check on industries in Roop Nagar, Arya Nagar Industrial Area, Tronica City

Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) is conducting regular vigil in Roop Nagar, Arya Nagar Industrial Area and Tronica City, Loni, Ghaziabad district, stated a compliance report filed by the pollution control board before the NGT on January 2, 2023. Appropriate actions are being initiated against violating units under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, it said. 

The report was in response to an NGT order dated October 16, 2023. A complaint was filed against 19 industries and one common effluent treatment plant (CETP). Out of 19 industries, seven are situated in Roop Nagar, four in Arya Nagar, eight industries and one CETP in Tronica city.

The industries situated at Roop Nagar have installed their own individual effluent treatment plant and are not connected to CETP (discharge their effluent into the Indirapuri drain to the Yamuna river).

Meanwhile, the industries situated at Tronica city have their own individual primary effluent treatment plant  (PETP). The effluents treated from it goes to CETP for further treatment. CETP discharges its effluent into the Jaawli drain and the Hindon river. The monitoring of CETP is being ensured regularly, the report said.

There were numerous visits from September 12, 2023 to November 23, 2023 to the CETP, which found improper operations. As per an analysis report of the sample collected from the outlet of CETP, parameters were being flouted. 

Taking into consideration the violations, UPPCB issued a show-cause notice for imposition of environmental compensation of Rs 17 lakh for 68 violation days on the basis of the methodology of the Central Pollution Control Board for imposition of environmental compensation.

The latest inspection of the CETP was conducted by officials of UPPCB from December 5-21, 2023. As per the analysis report of the sample collected from the outlet of CETP, the parameters conform to the prescribed norms. A joint inspection with the National Mission for Clean Ganga was conducted on November 1, 2023 and the report is awaited.

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