13 Sep 2023 5:12 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court has directed that work on a new facility to dispose of bio-medical waste should be commissioned within two years otherwise and all those involved will be held accountable for failure on their part. According to the petition filed by Govandi New Sangam Welfare Society, the incinerator facility owned by SMS Enviroclean Pvt. Ltd is a cause of major pollution in...
The Bombay High Court has directed that work on a new facility to dispose of bio-medical waste should be commissioned within two years otherwise and all those involved will be held accountable for failure on their part.
According to the petition filed by Govandi New Sangam Welfare Society, the incinerator facility owned by SMS Enviroclean Pvt. Ltd is a cause of major pollution in Govandi, affecting the residents of the area.
The PIL sought appropriate directions to the BMC to make proper arrangements for treatment of biomedical waste at Govandi and also sought for the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to impose appropriate costs on Enviroclean using the “polluter pays” principle.
In August the court had asked the Member Secretary of the MPCB to hold a meeting with the representative of the respondents- Enviroclean and BMC to find out how the 13 months period cited for construction of the new plant can be reduced.
As per the discussion MPCB secretary directed Enviroclean to immediately apply for consent to establish a Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility at Patalganga – Borivali MIDC area. A rapid environmental Impact Assessment study would also be carried out once the plot was allotted.
The time period for construction of the plant following all the permission was reduced to 12 months from 13 months.
“It appears that the respondents are moving in the direction of setting up the new incinerator which is likely to reduce the pollution level in the area," the court noted in its order.
“In view of the aforesaid, we direct that the new incinerator facility shall be commissioned within two years from today. All the authorities, including respondent no.5, shall be held accountable in case there is any lapse on their part in establishing the new incinerator facility within two years from today.”
In addition, the court directed regular monitoring of the pollution levels in the area and also monitoring of the present plant to be carried out by the MPCB not only using the online process but also by physical inspection of the site regularly, say on monthly basis.
On the point of polluter pays principle, the High Court granted liberty to the petitioners to move the National Green Tribunal for an appropriate remedy.
Accordingly, the petition was disposed of.
The petitioners claimed that there is a direct correlation between the emission of toxic gases from a biomedical waste treatment plant's incinerator at Govandi and the annual figure of about 5,000 tuberculosis cases in the area.
"At least 4500-5000 persons in M (East) Ward are diagnosed with Tuberculosis every year and that the number of deaths from Tuberculosis in M (East) Ward alone stand at 1877 from 2013 to 31st May, 2022," they claimed.
Case title - Govandi New Sangam Welfare Society Versus The State of Maharashtra & Ors.
Appearances - Advs Zaman Ali a/w Neil Pais for petitioner
Addl. Government Pleader Milind More for State
Sr Adv Aspi Chinoy for SMS Enviroclean Pvt. Ltd
Click Here To Read/Download Order