Charanjit Singh Teja
Amritsar, October 5
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently imposed a penalty of Rs 2,080 crore on the state government as environmental compensation. Similarly, violations of the NGT directions regarding solid waste management are seen in the city too. The officials of the Municipal Corporation (MC) and Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) haven’t received any details about the amount of penalty imposed on the city yet but as per the NGT’s previous correspondence, the bioremediation of garbage at the Bhagtanwala dump is a main concern of the tribunal.
The solid waste management company has said the bioremediation process will be completed by August 2023. We have issued them notices and have imposed Rs 70 lakh penalty to date. We will ensure that the company completes the task on time. Dr Kiran Kumar, Municipal Corporation Health Officer
MC Health Officer Dr Kiran Kumar said: “The NGT team had visited the Bhagtanwala dumping ground around two months ago. They were not satisfied with the ongoing bioremediation process. They might have imposed the penalty regarding the bioremediation of waste. We haven’t got any details from the NGT so far.”
PPCB Executive Engineer Harpal Singh said: “The NGT imposed the penalty on various municipal corporations, councils and municipal committees in the state.”
“The tribunal found violation of guidelines regarding water treatment plants, minimal liquid discharge and waste treatment in the city and towns. In Amritsar district, not only the city but also the periphery towns are also largely violating the directions of the NGT. The city-wise details might be released later, but Rs 2,080 crore is for all cities and towns of the state,” he said.
Though the NGT issued repeated notices, the MC failed to implement the directions of the tribunal at the Bhagtanwala dump and failed to conduct bioremediation of the garbage dump. The process of bioremediation started in November 2020 with a claim to be completed within two years.
Around 20-acre of land adjoining the grain market at Bhagtanwala is filled to the brim with garbage. The civic body started dumping waste at Bhagtanwala in 1990. Now, there is around 15 lakh metric tonne (MT) of garbage at the dumping ground. The solid waste management firm hired by the MC had claimed to set up an energy plant to transfer garbage into green coal. But the required six-acre land was yet to be vacated at the site.
Dr Kumar said: “The solid waste management company has said the bioremediation process will be completed by August 2023. We have issued them notices and have imposed Rs 70 lakh penalty to date. We will ensure that the company completes the task on time.”
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