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NGT Fines Manali Council Rs 4.6 Cr for Waste Mismanagement

NGT imposes Rs 4.6 Cr fine on Manali Council for mishandling solid waste. Committee formed to rejuvenate environment. Ongoing violations warned with monthly penalties

By Ground report
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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a Rs 4.6 crore fine on the Municipal Council, Manali, for mismanaging municipal solid waste at the Rangri village facility in Manali tehsil, Kullu district.

The directive responds to a petition by Paldan Phunchog, Pradhan of the Gram Panchayat of Shallen, Manali. The petition highlights illegal solid waste dumping causing inconvenience and health hazards to residents.

On May 29, 2024, the NGT directed the Municipal Council, Manali, to pay an environmental compensation of Rs 4,60,55,962 within three months to the Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (HPSPCB).

The NGT ordered the formation of a joint committee comprising the district magistrate of Kullu, the member secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board, and the member secretary of HPSPCB. This committee is tasked with preparing an environmental rejuvenation plan within two months and executing it within the next six months.

The NGT's decision follows a report submitted by HPSPCB on January 24, 2024. The report highlighted violations at the municipal solid waste facility in Rangri village, noting heaps of fresh mixed waste and legacy waste that required processing.

Despite directives, the facility lacked essential infrastructure like compost pits, bio-methanation facility, and bio-composter. Also, the damaged retaining wall around the legacy waste heap led to waste overflow towards River Beas, posing environmental risks.

The NGT warned that HPSPCB should determine environmental compensation every month and recover it until the municipal council achieves full compliance with Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016 in response to the ongoing violations.

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