Dumping Solid Waste At Lethpora | HC directs DC Pulwama to remain present on Sep 15
Srinagar, Sep 1: The High Court Wednesday directed the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Pulwama to remain present in person on September 15 as the officer had not informed the court as to why the solid waste was being dumped at a site other than the one earmarked for the purpose at Lethpora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
“We direct this matter to be listed on 15 September 2021 on which date the DC Pulwama will remain personally present subject to payment of costs of Rs 10,000,” a division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar said hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The direction came after senior Additional Advocate General B A Dar submitted before the court that in pursuance to the order passed by the court on June 6 this year, he had written a letter to the Deputy Commissioner Pulwama but not received any response.
“We are not concerned with the internal correspondence of the counsel with the J&K administration. The fact is that instructions in the matter are not forthcoming,” the bench said in response to the submission.
The residents of village Parigam in Pulwama district who had filed the PIL through counsel, Shafqat Nazir contended that for the towns of Pulwama, Awantipora, Pampore, Shopian and Khrew, 90 kanal land at Lethpora, Pulwama was identified and earmarked for cluster Pulwama for the disposal of solid waste.
They said that the site was fenced after spending crores of rupees and thereafter utilised for the disposal of solid waste for a period of over one year but stopped thereafter.
The petition said that the government had identified a piece of land at village Parigam in Pulwama for the disposal of solid waste by flouting not only Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016 but also the Jammu and Kashmir State Integrated Solid Waste Management Strategy, 2017.
The petitioners contend that since the enactment of the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, by the parliament, the union government from time to time had been prescribing rules for regulation and implementation of the objectives contained in the act.
In 2016, they pleaded that a new set of rules ‘Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016’ came to be prescribed, repealing and replacing the Solid Management Rules of 2000.
The petitioners plead that the government had till date not taken any steps in the direction of implementing the rules of 2016 and there were no efforts for local segregation and treatment of the solid waste to ensure that only 10 percent of such waste was taken in landfill sites.
“There is no effective planning to ensure conversion of possible waste into energy, organic compost and treatment of other solid waste under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. Instead reckless collection and unmanaged and illegal dumping of solid waste in areas closed to the human population is being preferred,” they plead.