HC seeks explicit details of local bodies not adhering to Solid Waste Management Rules

J&K High Court has sought explicit details of the local bodies who are allegedly not adhering to the Solid Waste Management Rules and Byelaws in J&K.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation by Environmental Policy Group (EPG), a division bench of chief justice Pankaj Mithal and justice Tashi Rabstan asked advocate Shafqat Nazir representing the EPG to file appropriate application with affidavit “stating the specific local bodies that were not adhering to the Rules and Byelaws”.

The direction came after the counsel said the Rules and Byelaws were not being implemented by the J&K’s local bodies.

In response to the submission that Model Byelaws were not sufficient and that certain crucial aspects were left out, the Bench said: “In such a situation, we require the counsel for the petitioner to first consider the Act, the Rules and the Model Byelaws and then to suggest the areas in which the same can be improved upon for the purposes of solid waste disposal’’.

Notably, under the Environmental Protection Act, 1986 and the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016, the erstwhile J&K State has framed Solid Waste Management Byelaws in exercise of powers under Sections 36 and 25 of the Act in consultation with all the stake holders. The Byelaws were notified by the Government on July 31, 2019 .

According to the Byelaws all local bodies are enjoined upon to take appropriate action for the disposal and treatment of the solid waste material in J&K.

The PIL filed by EPG, a registered trust working on environmental issues in J&K, is seeking implementation of Solid Waste Management Byelaws. It alleges that the health and hygiene are not up to the mark in J&K due to non-implementation of the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules.