Ludhiana Civic body to pay Rs 1.8-cr compensation to Punjab Pollution Control Board

MC fails to ensure waste processing, legacy waste management

Ludhiana Civic body to pay Rs 1.8-cr compensation to Punjab Pollution Control Board

Heaps of waste at the MC’s main garbage dump near Kakka village in Ludhiana. Inderjeet Verma

Harshraj Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23

The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has imposed an environmental compensation of Rs 1.8 crore on the Municipal Corporation (MC), Ludhiana, for violating the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The MC has failed to improve the solid waste management as its waste processing plant is lying non-functional and no steps have been taken at ground level to manage the legacy waste at the MC’s main dumping site near Kakka village here.

In a notice issued by PPCB chairman Prof SS Marwaha, the MC, through its Commissioner, has been directed to deposit an amount of Rs 1.8 crore in the office of the PPCB for violating provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, within 15 days from the receipt of the order, failing which necessary action will be initiated for recovery of the environmental compensation.

As per the PPCB order, the status of solid waste management and legacy waste management of the MC, including the status of operation of the solid waste facility at the civic body dump site, near Kakka village, was inspected by officers constituted by the PPCB in June 2019, August 2019, December 2019 and October 2020 and they had found the violations.

The status of the solid waste management and legacy waste management of the MC, including solid waste processing facility (A2Z Waste Management), was inspected again by PPCB officials on November 25, 2020, and December 21, 2020. The PPCB had noticed that the MC was not complying with provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The PPCB order states that from facts of the case, it is clear that the MC kept violating the provisions of the rules for the period from July 1, 2020, due to which the corporation has environmental degradation. “Thus, the civic body made itself liable under the ‘Polluter pays principle’ to pay environmental compensation” as per the order.

The PPCB imposed environmental compensation on the MC for the period July 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, for not handling and managing the solid waste and legacy waste as per timelines laid down by the NGT.

The A2Z group had terminated its services on February 4 this year. The MC’s waste processing plant is still lying closed while big heaps of waste have come up at the main dumping site in the past one year. PPCB Member Secretary Krunesh Garg confirmed that the environmental compensation of Rs 1.8 crore had been imposed on the MC for violating the rules.

The order has been issued to the MC on July 15.

Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu said: “I will order to deduct the environmental compensation amount from the salary of officials who are responsible. The officials responsible will have to pay for their negligence.”

Compensation for period July 2020 to March 2021

The PPCB imposed environmental compensation on the MC for the period July 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, for not handling and managing the solid waste and legacy waste as per timelines laid down by the NGT. The PPCB order states that from facts of the case, it is clear that the MC kept violating provisions of the rules for the period from July 1, 2020, due to which the corporation has environmental degradation.

Tribune Shorts

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