High Court pulls up Govt over noncompliance

‘Comply with the Act in letter and spirit to avoid invocation of stringent provisions’



Srinagar, Oct 23: The J&K High Court has directed the state government to strictly comply with the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. The court said in case of non-compliance it would invoke stringent provisions of the Act to ensure its implementation in letter and spirit.
 A division bench comprising Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi while passing directions on a Public Interest Litigation asked the government to comply with the provisions of the Act in letter and spirit to “avoid the necessity of invoking the stringent provision of the Act.”
 “According to section 15 of the Act whosoever fails to comply with or contravenes any of the provisions of 1986 Act or Rules would be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to five years or with an imposition of fine of Rs 1 lakh or with both,” the court said.
 The court granted three months as a last opportunity to Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and Economic Reconstruction Agency(ERA) to comply with the 1986 Act and  Rules-2000  after Advocate General M I Qadri and B A Khan, standing counsel for SMC, sought the time as last opportunity to bring the dumping Site at Achan in tune with 1986 Act and Rules-2000.
 The court however made it clear that if the provisions of the Act and the Rules are not complied within the said time frame, it might be forced to invoke section 15 of the Act.
 After examining some photographs submitted by the petitioners, the court observed that they reveal a sad story of affairs as garbage has been left in open in close proximity of the residential area. “There is no process of segregation in keeping with Rules of 2000,” the Court observed.
 The court held that the photographs depict cattle consuming non-edible garbage including polythene and plastic bags, saying it is a gross violation of Rules of 2000.
 Observing that the handling of biomedical waste and its disposal is a sensitive issue, the division bench passed a separate direction on the PIL asking the government to examine the proposal of Medical superintendent of G B Pant Hospital M A Massodi regarding installation of Plasma Pyrolsis System to segregate and dispose Biomedical waste in Government Medical College Srinagar and its associated hospitals.
 With regard to installation of the System, the court asked the government to release funds for its installation in all the hospitals in case the proposal is found viable. The court also directed the government to fill up the posts of Safaiwalas (sweepers) lying vacant in the hospitals after Dr Massodi informed the court about the same.  
 The Medical Superintendent informed the court that the waste generated in the G B Pant Children Hospital is segregated in four different categories as per the provisions of Bio Medical Waste (Management and handling) Rules, 1998.
 He submitted that the non-hazardous waste generated in the hospital is collected in black coded bins within the premises of the hospital building and is transported by the Cantonment Board which is responsible for scientific disposal of the waste.
 He said the aggregated waste is carried by the authorized agency M/S Kashmir Healthcare System, Lassipora Pulwama to its common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility Plant at Lassipora for its final disposal. He said the contract of the said firm has now expired.  
 He informed the court that the training of the Nursing and sanitary staff of G B Pant Hospital on biomedical waste management has been initiated on generation, collection, segregation, transportation and disposal of the biomedical waste.
 He stated that the wards, laboratories, operation theaters, labour room, Immunization Room, Blood Bank, Radiology and Procedure Room have been provided with colour coded dust bins for proper segregation and collection of biomedical waste.
 The petitioner Fara Khan was represented by Advocates Z A Qureshi and S F Qadri.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST

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