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Rs 5 lakh fine for dumping rubble in Yamuna: National Green Tribunal



Updated On - Monday, 26 August 2013

22 July 2013

NEW DELHI: To deal with the persistent problem of dumping rubble in the Yamuna, the National Green Tribunal(NGT) today directed that any person or authority found throwing debris will be fined Rs 5 lakh by invoking the principle of "polluter pays".

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also directed that all the debris thrown in the river bed, particularly at Geeta Colony site near Yamuna bank area, shall be removed by August 15 and that a compliance report be submitted before the next date of hearing on August 27.

"Since there is persistent problem of dumping in river Yamuna which is causing pollution and obstruction of river bed, by invoking the principle of polluter pays we direct that any person dumping rubble in Yamuna or its banks shall be liable to pay a sum of Rs five lakh...

"This is to be enforced by all authorities concerned without default," the bench said.

It clarified that the persons who will be fined for dumping rubble would include the person/authority who generated the debris, the owner of the truck used to ferry the waste and any contractor involved in the process.

It said, "Uttar Pradesh and all authorities, particularly Delhi Development Authority (DDA), East Municipal Corporation and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), shall ensure removal of debris from Geeta Colony site by August 15."

The bench gave liberty to the Secretary, MoEF to set up an expert committee to look into the issue of beautification of the river bank and submit a report by next date of hearing.

It said beautification of the river should be a matter of concern to all parties involved as well as the Central Government and directed that the issue be addressed expeditiously, by all authorities "without default or demur".

The tribunal's order came while hearing a petition seeking ban on dumping of rubble in the river bed and banks of Yamuna.

The Tribunal directed Delhi government to deploy special police force to ensure due vigilance at the Geeta colony site near Yamuna bank area to ensure no debris was dumped there.

It also directed all the public authorities concerned to depute their officials round the clock to ensure debris was not dumped at the site, after the Ministry of Environment and Forests informed the bench that several thousand tonnes of rubble was still being dumped, especially at night.

The bench also asked the authorities to ensure that the debris, removed from the banks and bed of the river, was not stacked on the flood plain.

Regarding the contention by the petitioner, that debris on the western bank of the river belongs to either DDA or DMRC and that the rubble is stacked close to the flood plain of Yamuna, the NGT directed the two authorities to hold a meeting within a week to decide who should remove it.

In case they are not able to decide it mutually, then both shall remove the rubble in equal quantity and at their cost by August 15, the bench said.

The tribunal also directed the local commissioners, appointed earlier by it to inspect the river bed and banks for signs of dumping, to check whether the NGT's directions are being implemented or not.

It also directed that any one of the authorities involved in the matter should pay Rs 25,000 as remuneration to each of the local commissioners for the work they are doing, after the bench was informed that till date they have not been given any amount.

On January 31, the NGT had banned dumping of debris on the banks of Yamuna and had directed the states of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to remove the rubble immediately.

Published by: The Economic Times

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