NGT levies Rs 4,000 crore environmental compensation on Bihar

The National Green Tribunal has levied Rs 4,000 crore environmental compensation on Bihar for failing to scientifically manage solid and liquid waste.

A bench of chairperson Justice A K Goel directed that the amount be deposited in a ring-fenced account within two months and was to be operated according to the chief secretary’s directions only for waste management in the state.

The bench, also comprising Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi along with expert members Afroz Ahmad and A Senthil Vel, said, “We levy compensation of Rs 4,000 crore on the state on the polluter pays principle for its failure in scientifically managing the liquid and solid waste in violation of the mandate of law, particularly judgments of the Supreme Court and this tribunal.”

The amount will be used for setting up solid waste processing facilities, remediation of legacy waste and setting up of sewage treatment plants, and faecal sludge and septage treatment plants so there remains no gap, the bench said.

The NGT noted that there was a legacy waste of more than 11.74 lakh metric tonnes as well as unprocessed urban waste of 4072 metric tonnes per day and the gap in liquid waste generation and treatment was 2,193 million litres per day.

Better alternatives to utilize the wet waste for composting at appropriate locations be explored. The scale of expenditure for sewage treatment plants may be reviewed in the light of realistic expenses involved in decentralized/traditional systems or otherwise, the NGT bench said.

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