Act upon directives of the National Green Tribunal

Pollution of different hues is gradually affecting Jammu and Kashmir in various forms , the heat of which may not be felt immediately but if proper action plans and following directives from the technical and designated bodies and institutions are taken casually, a stage of sprouting of an irreparable scenario cannot be ruled out. Be it water bodies and the environment etc, the threat of pollution is looming large . Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016 are not followed for strict implementation in majority of the districts of the State. National Green Tribunal (NGT) has been repeatedly sending the directives but of no avail. Municipal solid waste, in common parlance known as garbage, trash or ‘Kachra’ is inversely related to each and every one of us and most of us helplessly see how in the absence of a well defined and organised system to handle and scientifically treat it, in most of the places it is found in heaps in lanes, by the sides of streets and localities unattended for days together.
One of the areas where focussed attention is hardly witnessed is the lack of creating awareness and promoting means of publicity about a critical issue like the one under reference, as also not involving educational, cultural, religious and social organizations including local eco-clubs. What is the problem and why is the position in such a mess and what are the levels of performance of those who are assigned the duties to protect environment and handle municipal solid waste as per the set directives , all need to be made known.
In such a situation, it can safely be deduced that the objectives behind the set Rules of Municipal Solid Waste Management have not been achieved . The absence of the requisite seriousness can be gauged from the fact that even after constituting by Jammu and Kashmir Government, of a an oversight committee headed by retired High Court Judge in compliance to the NGT order of early this year , no perceptible change has been observed.. Not only the formation of the oversight committee but District Level Special Task Force headed by the concerned District Magistrate or his representative but not below the rank of Additional District Magistrate too was constituted. We have reports that in majority of the districts , either Special Task Force is not formally constituted or if constituted , the same has not yet started acting as per the duties assigned .
The issue of Municipal Solid Waste and its scientific treatment in order to protect the environment can be taken lightly only at an unaffordable cost , dimensions of which need to be increasingly made known. The immediate and the major sources of this waste are residences and homes where people live and cause the generation of this waste. Unless the same was regularly handled and finally treated on a continuous basis, the results thereof can well be imagined than explicitly explained. Industries, factories, agriculture, treatment plants and sites themselves are the other sources which generate the Municipal waste and have to be treated, there being no alternative. Let there be a system evolved of periodic regular follow up , review and monitoring of the performance of local bodies at the base level on waste segregation, processing, treatment and disposal – all in the interests of protecting the environment and ultimately the living conditions and the health of the people.