Lack a holistic way to manage waste and information gap were the main shortcomings
States and Union Territories (UTs) have exhibited a wide information gap on several parameters to manage waste, a report prepared by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for the National Green Tribunal (NGT) said.
These include the quantity of waste generated versus that which was collected and treated, existing and planned capacity of waste processing / disposal facilities, number of legacy waste dumpsites in the state and plans for their remediation.
Twelve out of 36 states and UTs did not provide information about informal waste collectors, although these have an important role in the lifecycle of the city’s waste.
At least 16 states did not provide any information on the scientific management of waste in their reports, as required by the court.
The states were supposed to submit their action plans to the NGT by October 31, 2018 and execute them by December 31, 2019.
On their failure to do so, the polluters were required to pay damages under the ‘polluter pays principle’.
Information on construction and demolition waste too was missing in reports of 12 states.
The Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, notified in 2016, gave power to local bodies across India to decide the user fees. Under these rules, the municipal authorities were supposed to levy user fees for collection, disposal and processing from bulk generators.
But 15 states failed to provide any kind of status report on this.
The NGT on January 2019 had asked every state / UT to constitute a special task force in every district having four members.
Of the four, one each was to be nominated by the district magistrate, superintendent of police, regional officer of the state pollution control boards in concerned districts.
One person was to be nominated by the chairman of the District Legal Services Authority for awareness about the SWM Rules, 2016, by involving educational, religious and social organisations.
But 16 states did not bother to update on this aspect.
The NGT had asked the CPCB in April this year to prepare the report.
This was after it ordered states and UTs on January 16, 2019 to act on managing solid and plastic wastes, demanded to know their action plans on polluted river stretches and critically polluted industrial clusters.
The CPCB submitted the report in July. It is based on 29 indicators according to the SWM Rules, 2016.
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