NGT imposes Rs 900 crore fine on Delhi govt for improper solid waste management

"Needless to repeat the hazardous consequences of accumulated and unscientifically stored huge quantum of garbage which are mountains," the bench said.

Published: 12th October 2022 10:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2022 10:43 PM   |  A+A-

National Green Tribunal, NGT

National Green Tribunal (File Photo | EPS)


NEW DELHI: Observing that "citizens cannot be faced with an emergency situation due to lack of governance", the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Delhi government to pay Rs 900 crore as environmental compensation for improper management of solid municipal waste.

A bench headed by chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel noted that around 80 per cent of legacy waste at the three landfill sites -- Ghazipur, Bhalswa and Okhla -- was not remediated and the quantity of legacy waste at the three dumpsites was 300 lakh metric tonnes.

The bench, also comprising Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert members A Senthil Vel and Afroz Ahmad, said that the scenario presented a grim picture of environmental emergency in the national capital.

"Citizens cannot be faced with an emergency situation due to lack of governance," the bench said.

There was continuous emission of methane and other harmful gasses along with groundwater contamination, the bench said, adding even minimum safeguards against repeated fires were not adopted.

"Needless to repeat the hazardous consequences of accumulated and unscientifically stored huge quantum of garbage which are mountains," the bench said.

The green tribunal further said that scarce and costly public land was occupied by the waste dumpsites.

"The area is 152 acres and its price even at a conservative rate is more than Rs 10,000 crore at the applicable circle rate and thus the urgency to retrieve the said public asset for beneficial public use," it said.

The NGT said that there was a serious violation of the rights of citizens and a failure of the public trust doctrine to protect the environment and public health by the authorities concerned.

"Steps taken so far do not meet the mandate of law and are not commensurate to the grim factual emergency situation, constantly threatening the safety and health of citizens and the environment with no accountability of officers entrusted with the task,"it said.

The NGT said that emergency measures, along with a new and sensitive approach in a mission mode, were required to remedy the situation.

Fixing accountability of the state authorities for past violations, the bench said, "We hold the National Capital Territory of Delhi liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs 900 crore having regard to the quantity of undisposed waste which is to the extent of three crore metric tonnes at the three landfill sites."

The amount could be placed in a ring-fenced account to be operated under the directions of the chief secretary, Delhi, for restoration of the environment by remediation of waste and other measures, the bench said.

It also directed the authorities to ensure that current waste is not added to the legacy waste sites and the waste was disposed of as per norms.

To control foul smell and improve aesthetics, turfing of landfill sites could be done through boundary walls or fencing by plantations of at least three rows of fast-growing and tall native trees in the periphery of landfill sites, the tribunal said.

The authorities could also establish a tourism and recreational centre, the bench said.

The already constituted 13-member monitoring committee headed by the chief secretary could coordinate with any other concerned departments and co-opt any other experts or institutions for speedy preparation and execution of the action plan, it said.

The NGT directed that an interim progress report, providing the status of compliance as on December 31, 2022, be filed by January 15, 2023.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp