Holy mess

The Supreme Court pulls up the Orissa government for pollution in Puri

By Satyasundar Barik
Published: Sunday 30 September 2001

the devotion of millions of people to lord Jagannath may have cleansed their souls, but it has left the Puri city dirty and filthy. Despite the city being the most revenue-fetching tourist centre, the state government has shown little interest in its management.

Acknowledging the severe pollution menace, the Supreme Court recently criticised the Orissa government for its lax attitude towards combating the problem. The court has even questioned the government's failure to implement an earlier order to allocate Rs 43 crore for waste management. In 1991, in response to a public interest litigation, the court had directed the state government to take steps for curbing pollution and allocating the funds. But not a single step was taken.

In response to the court's latest directions, the city administration has identified 120 hotels that are disposing their untreated wastewater. "We will try to comply with the court's directives," said Jayant Dev, the joint commissioner of the state's urban development department. An official estimation shows that around 150 tonnes of garbage is generated daily in the city, of which only 60-70 tonnes is disposed by the local municipality.

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