Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding waste management in the armed forces, 10/11/2020

  • 10/11/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Air Marshal Anil Chopra Vs Ministry of Defence dated 10/11/2020. The matter related to scientific waste management in the establishments of the armed forces like:

a) Environmental Issues and Waste Management- Armed Forces

b) Siachen Glacier Ecological Issues

c) Cantonments and Military Stations

In response a status report was filed on September 10, 2020 in respect of Air Force, Army and Navy.

The Status Report by the Air Force mentions that there are green initiatives with instructions on cleanliness drive. Command HQ have already directed monitoring. Green norms have been laid down and environmental friendly procedures are being adhered to.

The report of the Army refers to the Siachen Glacier ecological issues, action plan by way of sensitization of troops, identifying methods to decrease the waste and methods of disposal thereof. Two Task Forces have been constituted and responsibilities given to reduce waste generation and scientific waste management at different locations. Assistance has also been sought from the corporate entities and the DRDO.

The status report by the Navy mentions that they have adopted a theme of ‘Green Footprint to Blue Water Operations’. There are policy directives with respect to the solar power generation at Naval units, fuel conservation onboard in ships, directives on handling hazardous and plastic waste. In addition, waste management has also been given due impetus in existing Naval stations and for all new naval protects related to marine infrastructure, green measures have been incorporated in the design stage itself, the report by the Navy said.

The Coast Guard also filed its status report.

The NGT said that the armed forces should look at having a suitable in-house monitoring mechanism at various levels so that environmental issues can be fully addressed. Also persons designated as responsible in this regard have a joint meeting with expert bodies like the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) so that best practices are reviewed and evolved with their help. The designated officers at different levels can also initiate awareness programmes on environmental issues and challenges which may be an ongoing process.

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