National Green Tribunal directs Telangana government to find alternative sites for Jawaharnagar landfill
The National Green Tribunal’s Principal Bench, New Delhi, on Thursday passed an order directing the Telangana government to find alternative sites for dumping municipal wastes in compliance
HYDERABAD: The National Green Tribunal’s Principal Bench, New Delhi, on Thursday passed an order directing the Telangana government to find alternative sites for dumping municipal wastes in compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The order was passed following a petition on the pollution arising out of Jawaharnagar landfill on the city outskirts.
The NGT also said that the state government should carry out the process in a time-bound manner and report to it within three months. Looking at the incriminating evidence provided by petitioners to highlight the problem, the NGT felt that there was no need to hear from the Telangana government and passed the orders.
Two law students from Hyderabad, K Sai Sumed Yasaswi and K Mukhendu Kaushik, had approached the NGT on the issue along with Peddi Mohan Reddy and Indrasena Reddy. Pollution due to the landfill in Jawaharnagar, which receives municipal waste from across Hyderabad, has been bothering the residents of villages located within a few kilometers of the landfill.Before formation of Telangana state, the GHMC had been rapped twice by the then AP Pollution Control Board for not following solid waste management rules.
Recently, there was also an incident of fish kill in the Dammaiguda lake, allegedly due to the spilling of leachate from the dump yard into the lake. A study published last year by a researcher from Osmania University had detected alarming levels of contaminants like dissolved solids, nitrates and chlorides in the groundwater in villages located in a radius of 5 km from the landfill. It may be mentioned here that when a public hearing was conducted at Jawaharnagar in 2012 for modernising the landfill and developing an integrated municipal solid waste management project, the GHMC had said that the landfill would be capped and the dump site would be replaced by ‘green hills, golf club and horse riding grounds’.
Speaking to Express, Yasaswi said, “It is the duty of every citizen as per Article 51A(g) of the Constitution to protect and improve the environment. Students should shoulder such responsibilities and be on the forefront.” While the NGT’s order might come as a relief to those who have been suffering due to Jawaharnagar landfill, it is to be seen how the the state would react to it. In October the NGT ordered an interim stay on the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project until the TS government got mandated statutory environment and forest clearances.
However, the state government approached Hyderabad High Court against the order following which the HC set aside the NGT’s order. When contacted, KSS Yasaswi, one of the petitioners who approached NGT, New Delhi on the issue, said they had to approach the Principal Bench in New Delhi as southern zone bench in Chennai did not have required Coram as there were no technical assistants there.