Division Bench issues direction to State in PIL petition on Pachchanadi garbage slip incident
Observing that prima facie Mangaluru City Corporation has failed to implement Sold Waste Management (SWM) Rules 2016, the High Court of Karnataka on Monday asked the State government what action it would take against the corporation for not enforcing environmental law.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj issued a direction after going through reports submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) on the status of waste sold waste management and Pachhanadi landfill in Mangaluru .
Observing that the government must dissolve the elected body of the corporation for failing to enforce waste management rules framed under the Environment (Protection) Act, the Bench wondered why the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district, who held a meeting on June 16, did not invite senior officers of the CPCB and the KSPCB to it.
The Bench was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) complaining about the Pachhanadi landfill slip incident of August 2019 and non-implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules.
Earlier, appearing for KSLSA, advocate Sridhar Prabhu told the Bench that the reports of the pollution control boards have clearly pointed out that waste is neither collected or disposed of in the manner prescribed under the Rules.
The CPCB report pointed out that due to lack of segregation of solid waste, plastic waste formed part of all three types of waste — wet, dry and mixed waste. And, percentage of plastic in wet waste is 20%-25% and it is 15%-20% in mixed waste.
“A majority of recyclable and non-recyclable fractions of plastic waste, especially in wet waste and mixed waste collected on a daily basis is still diverted for land filling and a huge gape exists in the generation and proper disposal of plastic waste,” the CPCB report said.
Considering the quantity of plastic waste generated in the city, an average of 50 tonnes-60 tonnes per day (TPD) and the available capacity of baling machines in the processing plant being only 6 tonnes-7 tonnes per day, it can be inferred that only a very meagre quantity of plastic waste is getting properly segregated and disposed of in a scientific manner, the report pointed out.
The report also stated that the even this process of segregation and recycling of plastic waste from dry waste has been discontinued since April 4, 2021 after a fire incident in which most of the equipment, machinery and parts of the covered yard used for dry waste segregation was lost.
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