929 Schools Under Delhi Govt, 12 Colleges, 106 MCD Schools Fined Rs 5lakh Each By NGT For Not Harvesting Rainwater [Read Order]

929 Schools Under Delhi Govt, 12 Colleges, 106 MCD Schools Fined Rs 5lakh Each By NGT For Not Harvesting Rainwater [Read Order]

Disquieted by the lackadaisical approach of the authorities in executing its order of compulsory rainwater harvesting systems in all educational institutions, the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday slapped a cost of Rs 5 lakh each on all such institutions including 929 Delhi government schools, 12 colleges under Directorate of Higher Education and 106 schools of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

A bench of Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore and Expert member Dr Satyawan Singh Garbyal also directed the Registrar, Delhi University, Directorate of Education, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Directorate of Education, East MCD, New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi Cantonment Board and Ministry of Human Resource Development with regard Kendriya Vidyalaya and Navodaya Vidyalaya, to submit a list of total number of educational institutions under their jurisdiction in NCT Delhi and also inform the number of such institutions where rain water harvesting system is not fully functional or not installed.

It also imposed a cost of Rs 5,000 each on Binay Bhushan, Special Director Education, J.P. Aggarwal, Director, Higher Education and Geeta Kumari, Deputy Director Education (Primary), South Delhi Municipal Corporation for non-execution of its orders in respect of rainwater harvesting.

The court's order came on a plea moved by Mahesh Chandra Saxena seeking execution of the order passed by the Tribunal on November 16, 2017 wherein it had directed all the schools and colleges (private or government) in NCT Delhi to install rainwater harvesting systems, if not already installed, within a period of two month at their own cost.

It had further ordered that "any institution which does not comply with these directions shall be liable to pay an environmental compensation of Rs. 5 Lakh after expiry of the period of two months granted in this Judgment".

Besides, it had also directed institutes where rain water harvesting system could not be installed to get an exemption certificate from the committee constituted under the judgement and pay environmental cost to be utilized for providing rain water harvesting system in the adjacent area.

While hearing Saxena's plea, the bench said, "Surprisingly, despite of the aforesaid specific orders full compliance has not been made till now i.e. January, 2019," said the bench.

The bench had on January 23 directed the Senior Officers of NCT Delhi, who are concerned with primary/middle/secondary schools and also with higher education, to be present before the Tribunal on the next date and bring complete details in respect of the institutions and also the list of those institutions under which the rain water harvesting system is not functioning, as on date.

The bench was miffed that in place of complete details, it was only supplied with a status report by the Directorate of Education, through the Special Director, according to which 424 schools do not have rain water harvesting systems and 505 schools are those where installation is under progress.

Similarly, in respect of the colleges under Directorate of Higher Education, it was submitted that 9 institutions do not have rain water harvesting systems and in case of three institutions, they are said to be under construction. As regards South Delhi Municipal Corporation, 106 schools do not have rain water harvesting system, as on date, which also includes 21 schools for which it is said that such system is not feasible and out of remaining (85) system in 23 schools is said to be under construction.

"The certificate of exemption in respect of 21 schools have not been placed before us nor any compensatory environmental cost has been paid by them," it noted.

Displeased with the way authorities had acted to execute the order passed in year 2017, the bench passed the following directions:

1. That for non-execution of the order passed by the Tribunal on 16th November, 2017 within a period of two months as given therein, we impose a cost of Rs. 5,000/- each on Mr. Binay Bhushan, Special Director Education, Mr. J.P. Aggarwal, Director, Higher Education and Ms. Geeta Kumari, Deputy Director Education (Primary), South Delhi Municipal Corporation, which is to be deposited with NGT Legal Aid Bar Association within a week from today.

2. In furtherance of the aforesaid judgment, those institutions in which rain water harvesting systems are not operational even today, what to say in two months as directed, we direct such institutions to pay a compensation of Rs. 5 Lakh each. As mentioned above, that was the amount which was already fixed by the Tribunal while passing the Judgment on 16th November, 2017. Accordingly, as per the tabulation given by the Respondent-Education Department, 929 schools under Directorate of Education, 12 colleges under Directorate of Higher Education and 106 schools of SDMC, be issued notices within one week by the Special Director Education, NCT Delhi, Director Higher Education and Deputy Director Education, SDMC to the concerning institutions for deposit of the compensation amount (Rs. 5 lakhs each) with Central Pollution Control Board within a period of two weeks. The list of the institutions, as mentioned above, are those where rain water harvesting system is either not functional or not installed as on date.

3. We direct the Directorate of Education, Directorate of Higher Education and SDMC to issue Notice, within a week to those institutions i.e. schools/colleges which have not been mentioned in the tabulation submitted to us today, to give report in respect of functioning of rain water harvesting systems.

4. We direct Registrar, Delhi University, Directorate of Education, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Directorate of Education, East MCD, New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi Cantonment Board and 7 Ministry of Human Resource Development with regard Kendriya Vidyalaya and Navodaya Vidyalaya, to submit a list of total number of educational institutions under their jurisdiction in NCT Delhi and also inform the number of such institutions where rain water harvesting system is not fully functional or not installed. The list should be submitted within a period of two weeks. A copy of 16th November 2017 order be also sent to all such Corporations/authorities.

The matter is now listed for February 21.

Read the Order Here