Implement Solid Waste Management Rules


I s it proper to respond to a rule or even a statutory provision by choosing the uncalled for option of paying the penalty instead of complying with or implementing the rule scrupulously ? However, the implications thereof again are to be analysed in a situation where a violator of a traffic rule prefers to pay a fine instead of wearing a seat belt or a helmet. In the same way, environment compensation imposed by the Pollution Control Committee in lieu of not following the directions of the National Green Tribunal on concerned Executive Officers of a dozen of Urban Local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir for failing to dump the solid waste material in a scientific and well devised ways continuously must not become a norm. Such heaps of material are instead dumped at whatever places they choose to their convenience particularly on the banks of the water bodies. It is strange that while rules have been framed in this respect nearly more than two decades ago , the Urban Local Bodies continue to flout those brazenly and the concerned Housing and Urban Development Department seems to be in a position of absolute helplessness. Any city , town or even a village will not be deemed to be a normal, let alone ideal, place for human habitation where solid waste is either not disposed of or if at all disposed but not in a scientific manner . Municipal Authorities in their respective areas are enjoined upon, under the Rules set by the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests, as back as in the year 2000, for collection, storage, segregation , transportation, processing and disposal of Municipal waste. We learn that even land for such disposal in both the capital cities not only has been provided but necessary infrastructure too reportedly provided which is necessary for such scientific disposal . It is not known why despite that provision , the solid waste continues to be dumped quite haphazardly . Not only that , it has been observed that during transportation of such material collected , the same gets littered and strewn in tits along the route making the pedestrians and others face problems especially those vehicles which have normally to tail the municipal vehicles , that also during peak traffic hours. To impart more effectiveness to these rules, the same were amended in the year 2016 whereby it was made clear as to whose overall responsibility would it be to ensure that the provisions were fully enforced and it is the Secretary in-charge of the Urban Development Department and Deputy Commissioner or the District Magistrate to ensure compliance of such rules in their respective districts . In other words, probably no scope is left either for not assigning responsibilities for overseeing and ensuring full compliance or for any other alibi to have the solid waste dumped haphazardly. It should not be the sole responsibility of the Pollution Control Authorities only to conduct inspections and audits in respect of proper and scientific disposal of the generated solid waste material but the concerned Housing and Urban Development Department which is the main Department under whose control the Urban Local Bodies function must energize its efforts in this respect. In other words, the Department has to shun its lackadaisical approach towards such an issue concerning the cleanliness of cities and towns associated with the hygiene and health of the people living around haphazardly dumped sites as also addressing environmental concerns. Earlier also, through these columns, we had suggested that ”all stake holders” or the concerned Government agencies must jointly evolve a robust action plan on sustainable basis so that the solid waste could be recycled after due segregation and that part which cannot be, must be scientifically disposed of by landfill or thermal processing. When land etc is not only earmarked but reportedly allotted too in both the capital cities , why such plants are not set up which can do the required process. Segregating the collected material into bio- degradable and non-degradable is yet to be introduced in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir or it could be said that the entire gamut of scientific disposal (not dumping) of the daily generated solid waste material is still in a messy position and handled in a way that suits the convenience of the crew of the Municipal vans transporting the material to the “selected spots” almost on day to day basis. Hence a serious and comprehensive review of the issue needs to be taken by the Government and not merely deposit the en