NEW DELHI: Taking a serious view to airlines dumping of human excreta by aircraft and emptying toilet tanks on air before landing, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered that any carrier found being involved in such acts would have to pay Rs 50,000 as penalty.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to issue a circular to all airlines flying in India’s airspace that those involved in such acts would have to pay Rs 50,000 as penalty.
The tribunal asked the DGCA to issue circular to all ground handling services and airlines to ensure that they do not release waste from human waste tanks while landing or anywhere near the terminals of the IGI Airport.
The NGT passed these directions while disposing of a plea by Lieutenant General (Retired) Satwant Singh Dahiya who alleged dumping of human excreta by aircraft over residential areas near the IGI Airport here and has sought action against the erring airlines and levy hefty fines on them.
Dahiya has termed such acts as violation of the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'.
Normally, the waste in the aircraft tanks are disposed of by ground handling personnel once the plane lands. However, there are cases where lavatory leaks occur in the air.
The bench further said that the “DGCA shall also issue directions that aircraft on landing shall be subjected to surprise inspection to see that human waste tanks are not empty. If any aircraft is found to be violating such circular or (their) tanks are found empty on landing, they shall be subjected to environment compensation of Rs 50,000 per default".
While issuing directions to DGCA the green panel also said it was "surprised" to note the stand taken by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) that on analysing the samples taken from the petitioner's house, it could be ascertained that it was excreta but its source could not known.
"We are surprised to note the stand of CPCB to the extent of coliform and the kind of splashes created on the houses of the petitioner as well as others clearly demostrate that it was human excreta," the bench said.
It added that the amount collected shall be deposited with CPCB for using it for environment protection and a quarterly report shall also be submitted by DGCA before it.