NGT fines Maharashtra govt for poor SWM

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will be chairing a meeting after his government was ordered to pay Rs 12,000 crore as environmental compensation for improper management of solid and liquid waste by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

According to a bench led by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, compensation under Section 15 of the NGT Act was required to “remedy” the ongoing environmental harm brought on by insufficient waste management. The bench stated that “remedying the continuing damage to the environment” made the decision necessary and the liability settlement was “essential for restoration.”

The bench noted that even after the statutory/established deadlines had passed, “simply passing orders has not shown any tangible results in the last eight years (for solid waste management) and five years (for liquid waste management), without fixing quantified liability necessary for restoration.” 

Additionally, it stated that past damage needed to be repaired and that future damage needed to be avoided. 

The NGT estimated compensation for the liquid waste treatment gap at around Rs. 10,840 crores and for the unremediated legacy waste at about Rs. 1,200 crores, rounding the total to Rs. 12,000 crores. This is the largest fine imposed on a state government in the country.

The NGT stated that the action plan for managing solid waste entails both the rehabilitation of 84 sites that have been neglected and the establishment of necessary waste processing units. 

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