HC seeks report on working of SWM bylaws in Gulmarg

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Nov 25: High Court has directed Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) to file a detailed report on working of Solid Waste Management By-Laws and its publicity positively before the next date of hearing before the court.
Hearing an application on the news item reported in Daily Excelsior under the caption ‘Irreversible damage to world famous destination’s ecology, PCB issues show cause notice to GDA for non-functional of segregator and Incinerator’, the division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta sought a detailed report on the working of SWM by-laws from GDA.
“We find that there is no report with regard to the working of the Solid Waste Management By-Laws, the publicity effected to the provisions thereof or the fine which have been imposed and collected”, court said and directed for filing of a detailed status report with regard to these issues positively before the next date of hearing.
The GDA had filed a status-cum-compliance report, submitting that the Solid Waste is being properly managed and Solid Waste Management Plant is operational in Gulmarg.
However the court directed the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Baramulla, to conduct a spot inspection of Gulmarg especially the Solid Waste Management Plant and inform the Court about the same before the next date of hearing.
Court directed the registry to communicate the instant order to Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Baramulla, through electronic mode in order to ensure compliance to court directions.
Court has taken the note of the report published in Daily Excelsior which reveals that Pollution Control Board upon receipt of various reports from different quarters regarding handling and disposal of municipal solid waste by the GDA in an illegal, unscientific and environment unfriendly manner, has issued the show cause notice to CEO GDA seeking explanation as to why Environment Compensation under Polluter Pays Principle be not recovered for cause irreversible damage to the ecology of the resort.
It is as per the findings of Regional Director pointed out that un-segregated municipal solid waste is being continuously disposed off unscientifically by GDA and the mechanical segregator and incinerator are non-functional since August 2019 which is brazen defiance of the directions issued by the National Green Tribunal and in violations of Municipal Solid Waste Rules of 2016.
The PCB has further noticed that the modus operandi by the GDA for handling and disposal of municipal waste has put the environment of the area to grave threat besides polluting surface and ground water ecosystem.
The Regional Director has confirmed the solid waste treatment facility is non-functional as the said facility has been installed by the GDA without the mandatory consent from PCB and the littering and dumping of the waste is taking place in open areas of Meadows and Forest areas thereby severely disturbing the ecology of the famous tourist resort.
The CJ has been informed that PCB has also noticed various other deficiencies which is revealed in the news report and needs to be taken note of in the interest of safeguarding the tourist destination.