GARBAGE DISPOSAL – Landfill sites: Tribunal seeks amended plea

Petition Against PMC To Be Confined To Relocation
The hearing of the plea against unscientific disposal of garbage by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) would now be confined to the main prayer of relocation of the landfill sites from Uruli Devachi and Phursungi and the consequential issues arising from it.The National Green Tribunal (NGT) bench on Tuesday directed the applicants to amend their plea, restricting the matter to the main prayer and furnish copies of the amended plea to PMC, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and other respondents. “The matter will now be heard on August 17,“ said lawyer Asim Sarode, who is representing the applicants.

Pune generates close to 1,600 tonnes of muncipal solid waste every day . A bulk of this is dumped at the landfill sites in Uruli Devachi and Phursungi. There are 25 other smaller landfill sites across the city with a capacity to take in 40 to 50 tonnes of waste every day .

The MPCB’s approval to the garbage disposal plant for these sites had lapsed a long time ago and the plant has since been shut down. The PMC has claimed that only capping of garbage is done at these sites.The villagers have contested this claim, citing unscientific ways adopted by the PMC to dispose of garbage.

Bhagwan Bhadale and others from Uruli Devachi and Phursungi had filed the plea last year, seeking the tribunal’s directions on as many as 32 prayers for compliance by PMC and other regulatory authorities.

They argued that the continued disposal of garbage at the two landfill sites posed an environmental risk and was badly affecting the health of villagers.

In May this year, they filed four miscellaneous pleas seeking, among other things, inspection of the landfill sites by an independent commision of the tribunal and examination of all civic and district officials and politicians who were involved in decision-making over these sites.

On Tuesday , though, they withdrew the four miscellaneous pleas after the bench asked them why they needed an inspection when their main prayer is for relocation of the landfill sites.

The bench also pointed out that it was impractical to deal with 32 prayers and asked the applicants whether they would restrict the matter to the main issue by amending the plea.

Taking up the prayers one by one with Sarode, the bench went on to downsize the matter to the main prayer of relocation of landfill sites and directed the applicants to amend their plea on these terms.

Sarode said, “Many of our prayers have been addressed in the affidavits filed by the MPCB, Central Pollution Control Board, PMC and the state department for urban development.

On the main prayer, we brought to the tribunal’s notice the PMC’s letters to MPCB since 2011 assuring that only capping is done at the sites. The PMC had secured an extension from the MPCB for capping only up to the end of December 2015.“

Supriya Dangare, a lawyer representing MPCB, said, “We will wait for a copy of the amended application as ordered today by the tribunal.“

Source : TOI