Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding waste management in Bihar, 04/05/2023

  • 04/05/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of 'In re: Compliance of Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and other environmental issues' dated 04/05/2023.

The NGT after going through the presentation of Chief Secretary, Bihar was of the opinion that that there are still gaps in generation and processing of waste to the detriment of environment and public health. Data is incomplete as legacy waste figure is only in respect of 26 dump sites. Gap in sewage management is more than 2000 MLD.

"The State is held liable to pay compensation of Rs. 4,000/- crores. This is in addition to the liability for failure to manage solid waste for which we are not levying any compensation for the time being," the order said.

Water quality data maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board and Bihar State Pollution Control Board showed that at all 33 locations, where water quality of river Ganga is monitored, water of Ganga is not fit for bathing. It contains high extent of fecal coliform bacteria. There is thus need to prevent sewage being discharged into Ganga or its tributaries.

The bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Sudhir Agarwal expressed hope that the state of Bihar will take further measures in the matter by innovative approach and stringent monitoring, "ensuring that legacy waste to the extent or more than 11.74 lakh MT as well as unprocessed urban waste of 4072 TPD and gap in liquid waste generation and treatment which is 2193 MLD are bridged at the earliest, shortening the proposed timelines, adopting alternative/interim measures to the extent and wherever found viable".

The NGT, May 4, 2023 after considering the statement about gap in sewage generation and treatment and also gap in solid waste managemet, the tribunal has levied compensation of Rs. 4,000 crores on the state of Bihar for its failure in scientifically managing the liquid and solid waste. The amount should be kept in a ring-fenced account within two months to be operated as per directions of the Chief Secretary only for waste management (liquid and solid) in the state. The amount will be utilized for setting up solid waste processing facilities, remediation of legacy waste and setting up of sewage treatment plants and faecal sludge treatment plant so that there remains no gap.