NGT notices several anomalies in reports of admn

Solid, liquid waste management in Ladakh UT

*Seeks timelines for proposed action points
Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, May 18: National Green Tribunal (NGT) has noticed several anomalies in the reports submitted by the administration of Ladakh regarding solid and liquid waste management in the Union Territory and sought timelines for different proposed action points by next date of hearing.

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The Tribunal, which is monitoring the issue of solid as well as liquid waste management as per orders of the Supreme Court, had asked the administration of Union Territory of Ladakh to submit reports regarding compliance of Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and other environmental issues.
In response to the directive of NGT, Ladakh UT administration submitted two progress reports dated January 24, 2024 and May 7, 2024 and when the matter came up for hearing, Dr Pawan Kotwal, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, B M Sharma, Member Secretary, Ladakh Pollution Control Committee and Tahir Hussain, Director Urban Local Bodies Ladakh appeared and apprised the Tribunal about compliance status.
After perusal of reports, NGT Bench comprising Justice Prakash Shrivastava (Chairperson), Justice Sudhir Agarwal, Judicial Member and Dr A Senthil Vel, Expert Member observed, “in respect of solid waste in Municipal Committee Kargil, gap in solid waste management is 9.340 TPD (Tonnes Per Day). We find that there is some discrepancy in respect of the figures disclosed about aggregate daily generated waste in Municipal Committee Leh and Municipal Committee Kargil in terms of transportation of waste and its processing”.
“In terms of the earlier report dated 27.03.2023 and presentation dated 05.04.2023, quantity of waste generated in the two Municipal Committees, per day, was reflected as 10.74 TPD, whereas, total figure which is disclosed in the report as 23.93 TPD. This needs to be clarified”, the Tribunal said.
In respect of compliance status of legacy waste, it has been noticed by the NGT that though the stand has been taken that 58,910 tons of legacy waste existing earlier at Bombgarh, Leh has been remediated but details of manner of its remediation including residue management have not been disclosed. “On account of the gap in treatment of daily generated solid waste, there is every day addition in the legacy waste which has not been taken into account while taking the stand that 100% remediation of legacy waste in Leh has been done”, the Tribunal added.
“Out of 14.5 TPD of waste generation at Leh, about 10 TPD is non-bio degradable waste for which there is no proper management plan and also there is no disclosure on quality of compost produced and its utilization”, the NGT pointed out, adding “so far as, Kurbathang-Kargil is concerned, there is still 66,819 tons legacy waste lying at the site. To clear this waste, a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for bio-mining and bio-remediation is stated to be prepared and finalized and tenders will be floated shortly for completion of work by May 2025 but particulars, thereof, have not been disclosed”.
“In the next report, extent of remediation work done by that time along with the different stages of work and final timeline be disclosed. Further remediation should include proper disposal plan for plastics and other rejects”, the Tribunal directed.
Regarding Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in Ladakh, the NGT observed, “only one STP at Agling-Leh Town of 3 MLD capacity exists and at Bombgarh, Kargil and Kurbathang, no STPs are existing but at Bombgarh and Kurbathang, FSTP of 12 KLD and 10 KLD respectively have been commissioned”, adding “in respect of Kargil, it is disclosed that DPR for 06 decentralized STPs of 3 MLD capacity has been finalized and tenders will be issued shortly but no timeline has been disclosed. Further, details are only for 3.0 MlD and for remaining it is not disclosed. In the next report full particulars along with timeline needs to be disclosed”.
“Report reflects that there is a gap of 11.2 MLD (Leh-4.56 MLD and Kargil-6.64 MLD) in generation and treatment of sewage and generation figure of about 14 MLD. However, disclosure made in the earlier report dated 27.03.2023 along with the presentation dated 05.04.2023 wherein the quantity of sewage generated at Leh and Kargil was disclosed to be 8.18 and cumulative capacity of 9.9 MLD. This anomaly needs to be clarified”, the NGT said.
The report discloses the details of proposed STP at Leh and Kargil but no timeline for setting them up and making them functional has been disclosed. Similarly, although an amount of Rs 30 crore has been ring fenced but expenditure incurred out of it has not been disclosed, the NGT pointed out.