NGT | Application claiming violation of rules on management and disposal of construction and demolition waste by Reliance Industries Ltd., rejected

National Green Tribunal (Western Zone): A Division Bench of Justice Sheo Kumar Singh  (Judicial member) and Dr Satyawan Singh Garbyal (Expert member) rejected an application against Reliance Industries Ltd., which alleged that it had violated rules and regulations relating to the disposal of construction and demolition waste by not taking necessary authorization.

The applicant’s company had entered into a concession agreement with the Surat Municipal Corporation for the work of collection, transportation and treatment of construction and demolition waste generated in Surat for 20 years. The applicant alleged that Reliance Industries Ltd. did not take necessary authorization required under the Construction and Demolition Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016 [C&D Rules] since the work of disposal of construction & demolition waste generated from the demolition of its township has not been given to the applicant. This application, therefore, sought that Reliance be directed to dispose of the waste in accordance with the C&D Rules. The respondent alleged that it intended to reuse the construction and demolition waste for its own purposes i.e., for landfilling on another site, for which it had taken necessary permission from the competent authority and that it would be conducted in a scientific manner which would instead be beneficial to the environment.

Tribunal acknowledged the respondent’s contention that it had taken due permission from the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) for demolishing the township and transferring the waste to its own site outside SMC’s limits. The Order relied on Para 8 of the SMC Standing Committee Resolution, which allowed a waste-generator to make its own arrangements for construction and demotion waste management and disposal, in case it did not wish to avail the facilities provided by the SMC, as long as it complied with C&D Rules. The Tribunal held that for the purposes of Para 8, the respondent had taken permission from the Municipal Corporation. It was established that the respondents had submitted a Waste Management Plan as well as an Undertaking in accordance with the demands of the SMC, which was the local authority responsible for issuing detailed directions with regard to management of waste under Rule 6(1) of the C&D Rules. Moreover, an agency appointed by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) submitted a Waste Management Plan where it reiterated that the waste would be re-used in a scientific manner, in accordance with its C&D Waste management scheme. A report submitted by the State Pollution Control Board, after due examination of the site, also revealed that the waste disposal by Reliance was in accordance with C&D Rules. In consideration of all these factors, the Bench disposed of the application holding that the disposal was taking place according to all the rules and regulations and under the direction of the GPCB. [Surat Green Precast Ltd. v. Reliance Industries Ltd., O.A No. 26 of 2020 (WZ), decided on 22-07-2020]

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