The National Green Tribunal has directed the state Environment Department, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, New Town Kolkata Development Authority and Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority to file a status report on the action plan to prevent spillage from dumping sites near Mollar Bheri into the water bodies of East Kolkata Wetlands.
According to the order dated 28 July, earlier the tribunal had directed all the four bodies to file affidavit on latest status report requiring the principal secretary of the department to monitor the compliance of the directions.
While BMC has files and affidavit on the status none of the others have complied with the directions, the order reads. Even as the counsel of the state government claimed that Environment Department has filed report on 23 March, no such affidavit is on record of the tribunal, mentions the order.
Notably, in November 2019, the tribunal directed the BMC to deposit Rupees 50 Lakhs as performance guarantee to the Central Pollution Control Board and furnish an action plan along with time lines to within 15 days to address the matter.
The NGT had also expressed its dissatisfaction over BMC for its plans of processing waste in decentralised manner by installing organic waste converters and biomethanation apart from establishing a centralised processing unit on a 20 acre land.
The NGT had asked the BMC to follow the Indore Model or Pirana Model (Ahmedabad) for waste management. A Monitoring Committee had been constituted by the state government to deal with solid waste management.
According to sources in the state Environment Department, the status report was submitted on 21 March and the lockdown to contain the coronavirus came into effect on 23 March. “Due to unavailabilityof the notary services at that time, the report could not be notarized and filed as an affidavit. The department officials had submitted it as a report mentioning the reason and requesting the tribunal to accept it.”
The Environment Department is now to submit the affidavit on the status report within the next stipulated date in September.