CHENNAI: The southern bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to take action against erring Kattankolathur panchayat officials, including imposing environmental compensation, for violating Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The green bench had taken suo moto cognisance based on a TNIE article titled “Urapakkam residents brave death threats, turn cesspool into lake” and constituted a joint committee, which found several violations in panchayat limits like unsegregated garbage being dumped at the Kolathur dumpsite and pollution in Karanai Puducheri lake.
Disposing of the case, the NGT bench comprising judicial member Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member K Satyagopal directed the TNPCB to monitor the implementation of SWM Rules. The Chengalpattu District Collector was also directed to remove encroachments on the waterbody and restore it to its original state, in co-ordination with the PWD and the local bodies. The Collector was also told to take appropriate steps to provide a protection mechanism by constructing eco-fencing or providing biological diversity parks.
In a compliance report submitted recently, the block development officer of the panchayat said the segregated solid waste is now collected door-to-door and disposed of at the dumpsite at Kolathur. The panchayat also said construction of a micro-composting centre at Urapakkam at a cost of `25 lakh has begun.
On removal of encroachments, the panchayat submitted that due to Covid-19 pandemic, evictions were delayed.“The survey has been completed. The evictions will be completed within 6 months,” the compliance report says.