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National Green Tribunal (NGT): The Coram of  Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Justice S. P. Wangdi (Judicial Member), Dr Satyawan Singh Garbyal (Expert Member) and Dr Nagin Nanda (Expert Member), reprimanded the State of Haryana over unscientific dumping of municipal waste in Palwal, Haryana.

The applicant filed the application in a grievance against the illegal and unscientific dumping of municipal solid waste in Village Meghpur, District Palwal, Haryana, in violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and non-removal of legacy waste as per law and was also affecting the village pond. The applicant also referred to the previous orders passed by the tribunal in 2019, which exhibited continuation of dumping of municipal solid waste and the Municipal Council to have not taken any action in the matter despite being directed by the tribunal.

The applicant was represented by Rahul Choudhary, Advocate, and the respondent was represented by Rahul Khurana, Advocate.

The respondent did not dispute that unscientific dumping of municipal waste is taking place in violation of law, but contested that the waste would be treated by composting/recycling and remaining waste will be sent to dumpsite.

Tribunal stated, “Mere proposed steps are not a valid defence to the criminal failure of the authorities when stringent punishments are contemplated under the law for such failure as there is continued damage to the public health by such failure” and said that “accountability has to be fixed”.

Therefore, the tribunal directed the necessary State bodies to ensure compliance of Municipal Solid Management Rules failing which would leave the Court with no option except to take coercive measures, including direction for prosecution and stoppage of salary.[SND Public School v. State of Haryana,  2020 SCC OnLine NGT 193, decided on 14-07-2020]