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Kerala High Court order to ban dumping of waste in public places

Kerala High Court’s order to ban dumping of waste in public places by a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Kerala Federation of Women LawyersA Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday 21st November 2011  prohibited dumping of waste in plastic carry bags or bags made of any other non-biodegradable material in public places or roadsides and ordered the police to prosecute those who violated the order.

 

The Bench comprising Justice C.N. Ramachandran Nair and Justice P.S. Gopinathan issued the order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Kerala Federation of Women Lawyers seeking a directive to the State government to prevent dumping of waste on public places.The court directed the police to prosecute those who violated the ban order under Sections 268 (public nuisance), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 279 (making atmosphere noxious to health) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and also under the relevant provisions of the municipal laws. The court directed the State government to issue instructions through the DGP to all police stations to patrol urban areas and take action against those found dumping waste in plastic carry bags in public places.

 

The Bench directed the State government to inform local bodies to instruct persons or agencies engaged in collection of solid waste not to collect waste kept in bags made of plastic or any other non-biodegradable material.  They should collect the waste in containers provided by local bodies. The plastic and non-biodegradable waste should be collected separately.The judges said that a complaint could be lodged with the police station if any person got information about waste being dumped in plastic carry bags in public places. The court said it was for the State government to consider appropriate legislation keeping in mind the order and levy charges from persons charged with throwing the waste in plastic carry bags at public places or roadsides. The money so collected could be used to fund waste collection and treatment. The government had submitted that it was contemplating a legislation banning dumping of plastic carry bags stuffed with waste.The Bench directed the State government to file a compliance report within two weeks. The court was of view that low quality plastic bags were being used for carrying vegetable, meat, and also for duping waste. So, waste in these bags got decomposed and polluted the atmosphere and water sources.

 

The court pointed out that even birds and animals which fed on such waste died or got afflicted with diseases due to contamination. The court said it was worth undertaking a study in the State to find out the number of animals killed on account of diseases caused by such contamination. The court felt even if waste was spread in open areas, natural scavengers ate them and cleaned the area. Hence, throwing away waste in plastic or other non-biodegradable material should be banned (The Hindu, Nov.22; 2011) Kochi  Municipal Corporation to chalk out plans for effective implementation: Following the Kerala High Court’s order to ban disposal of waste in public places, the Kochi corporation has decided to enact appropriate regulations to enforce the ban.

 

At present, a team from the corporation, including mayor Tony Chammany, is in New Delhi to discuss various development projects. The mayor is expected to hold discussions with the officials and chalk out plans to implement the high court order once the team comes back from Delhi.

 

“We have visited some solid waste treatment and disposal plants in the capital. We will soon finalize on a suitable technology for the new waste treatment plant to be set up at Brahmapuram,” said health committee chairman T K Ashraf. Though the civic body had earlier banned dumping of waste at public places, it failed to enforce the ban. “Now, the court has extended its support. Social welfare and panchayat minister M K Muneer has also suggested that he would incorporate changes in the existing laws to strictly enforce the order,” Ashraf said.

 

Meanwhile, District Residents’ Association Apex Council (EDRAAC) welcomed the high court verdict preventing dumping of waste in public places. Local bodies should set up a proper waste management system, the association said.“The authorities should come up with measures to bring down the use of plastic bags. The state government can initiate such steps by limiting the use of plastics at outlets operated by Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation,” said P Rangadasa Prabhu, president, EDRAAC.Vox PopuliP G Anil Kumar, secretary, T D West Citizen Forum, said, “The city lacks a proper solid waste management system. We are one of the residents’ associations which segregate 100% of waste generated in our area. Though we don’t know where the waste is dumped, we assure that garbage is taken away from the city.”

 

With the Kerala High Court banning disposal of waste in public places, the Kochi Corporation informed that it would enact apt regulations to enforce the ban. A team from Corporation including, Mayor Tony Chammany is in New Delhi to discuss various development projects. “We have visited some of the solid waste treatment and disposal plants in the Capital. We will soon finalise on a suitable technology for the new waste treatment plant to be set up at Brahmapuram,” said T K Ashraf, Chairman, Health Committee.

 

On getting back to the city, the Mayor will hold discussions with the officials and chalk out plans to implement the High Court order. Though the civic body had already banned dumping of waste at public places, it has failed to enforce the ban.”Now, the Court has extended support and Minister for Local Body, M K Muneer has also suggested to incorporate changes in the existing laws to strictly enforce the order,” he added.Meanwhile, District Residents Association Apex Council (EDRAAC) welcomed the High Court verdict preventing dumping of waste in public places. Indicating the need to have a proper waste management system, the association points out that local body is bound to set up such a system.

WAS VERY USEFUL

WAS VERY USEFUL

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