IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
(Original Civil Jurisdiction )
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.888 OF 1996
IN THE MATTER OF
ALMITRA H. PATEL AND OTHER -- PETITIONERS
UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS. -- RESPONDENTS
Affidavit On Behalf Of The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board
I, Dilip Bhaskarrao Boralkar, aged 51 Years, working as the Member Secretary of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, having my office at Kalpataru Point, Sion (East ) Mumbai- 400 022, do herby state on solemn affirmation as under:
- I am filing the present affidavit in compliance with the orders of this Hon’ble Court dated 26.07.2004 and submitting the information on the status of implementation of Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000 in the State of Maharashtra and the steps taken by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board ( hereinafter referred to as MPCB for the sake of brevity ) in this regard.
- Pursuant to the order passed by this Hon’ble Court, directions were issued to all the Regional Officers of MPCB to ensure that the orders are complied in a time bound manner. This was followed by review meetings convened at the Board’s Head Office in Mumbai on 18.8.2004 and 06.09.2004. Besides, MPCB also held consultations with All India Institute of Local Self-Government, Mumbai and the Water Supply and sanitation Department, Government of Maharashtra on 25.08.2004, 01.09.2004 and 04.09.2004 in order to review the compliance of the orders of this Hon’ble Court. I further submit that the Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra had also convened a meeting of all the concerned departments to take a comprehensive review and also to initiate further steps required to be taken for effective implementation of the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 in the state of Maharashtra.
- I say that the Municipal authorities are required to submit annual report in Form-II to the Secretary, I/c. of the Urban Development Department of the State Government in case of Metropolitan cites and to the District Magistrates in case of all other cities and towns with a copy to the State Pollution Control Board. I submit that MPCB had received annual reports from only 6 local authorities in the year 2002-2003 which were compiled and submitted to the Central Pollution Control Board along with information pertaining to applications for authorizations and status of disposal. I submit that the Board had received 129 applications seeking authorization from Municipal Authorities. Out of this, 74 authorizations were granted with necessary terms and conditions. In case of 3 applications, since they were not meeting the requisite criteria, they were refused and remaining 52 applications were returned to the local authorities, as these applications were not complete in all respects. I say that for effective implementation of these Rules, we also requested the Divisional Commissioners to take up the issue with the Municipal Commissioners and Chief Officers of the Local Authorities. A sample copy of one such letter is annexed and marked as Exhibit-I.
- I further say that pursuant to the order passed by this Hon’ble Court, the Regional officers of the Board were directed to obtain the Returns in Form II duly filled in by the municipal authorities in the State and then grant authorizations to the applicant municipal authorities. The Regional and Sub-regional officers of the Board proactively carried out this work and completed in time as per the direction of this Hon’ble Court. The status in this regard is annexed and marked as Exhibit-II.
- As per the directives of this Hon’ble Court, the Regional Officers were given specific instructions to proactively sit down with the officials of the local bodies and ensure that the Annual Reports in Form-II are filled in and furnished to the Board. I submit that there are 250 local authorities in the State, which include Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils, Nagar Panchayats and Cantonment Boards. All these local authorities have submitted the Annual Reports in Form-II to the Board. I submit that immediately after receipt of these annual reports a consolidated annual report has been prepared and submitted on 15th of September, 2004 to the Central Pollution Control Board. A copy of which is annexed and marked as Exhibit III.
- I submit that the State Government has promulgated a policy for siting of industries and development activities for protection of river bodies by stipulating certain restrictions on siting of such activities along the banks of the river in the State. Depending upon the locations, distances from the river bank are stipulated for locating industries and other development projects, which would be affecting the water quality due to discharge of their effluents. Further the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification of 1991 also prohibits location of municipal solid waste disposal facilities for CRZ areas. In some cities, the availability of land in the areas not covered by CRZ is also a constraint. Because of the implementation of such policies and regulations, MPCB is finding it difficult to approve the proposals received from local bodies for development of landfill sites for disposal of municipal solid wastes.
- I say that for effective implementation of the said Rules, the Water Supply and Sanitation Dept. of Govt. of Maharashtra has issued a Govt. Resolution dated 26.8.2003 wherein a district level committee under the District Magistrate (Collector) is constituted having representatives from Pollution Control Board, Forest Department, Ground Water Board, Planning Department etc. The terms of reference of the committee are as follows:
- To improve existing Municipal Solid Waste Grounds.
- To carry out survey to identify new locations for land fill sites.
- To provide necessary assistance to the local authorities after considering the difficulties experienced by them.
- Other matters relating to effective implementation of the said rules.
The District Magistrates are authorized to acquire the land identified for landfill site and handover the same to the concerned local authorities. The Regional Officers/ Sub- Regional Officers of MPCB are also Members of these Committees.
- I say that in response to the above Government Resolution dated 26.8.2003 such committees have been constituted in the State. I submit that in order to select landfill site for disposal of municipal solid wastes based on environmental consideration, MPCB has prepared a check-list for selection of sites and the same is forwarded to all local bodies for consideration. A copy of check-list is annexed and marked as Exhibit-IV.
- I submit that the State Government with the support of concerned departments is following up this matter, the sites are identified and a proper inventory is being prepared for the entire State. I further submit that a quarterly progress report in this regard will be submitted to this Hon’ble Court.
- That the municipal solid waste management by the local bodies shall be successful with the participation of private sector based on options such as ‘Build, Own and Operate’ (BOO) and ‘Build, Own, Operate and Transfer’ (BOOT) basis depending upon the situation. This is particularly required for the local bodies, who have financial and technical constraints in proper management of MSW in compliance with the rules. In order to assist the local bodies for preparation of agreement for management of MSW between local bodies and the operator of the facility, MPCB has engaged the services of M/s. CRISIL to formulate such documents in consultation with All India Institute of Local Self-Government, Mumbai and Commissioner and Director, Municipal Administration, Government of Maharashtra. Terms of references assigned to M/s. CRISIL are placed at Exhibit-V for information.
- I submit that the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has also taken an initiative by selecting 5 local authorities where the Board will be providing financial assistance for establishing MSW processing plants/landfill sites. MPCB has sanctioned financial assistance to the tune of total of Rs.3.5 crores, of which, Rs.2.0 crores have been released upto July 2004. Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) in this regard have also been signed. A sample copy of one such MoU is annexed and marked as Exhibit-VI. Besides, the Board has also selected 4 religious places where Environmental improvement programme will be undertaken, which will include scientific disposal of MSW. Preparation of detailed project report (DPR) for first such project is in progress. The Board had also jointly organized a seminar with Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mumbai to explore private participation in MSW management. The MPCB will continue with these efforts for achieving the compliance of the said Rules.
- While on the subject, it is respectfully submitted that, the Board was initially constituted under the provisions of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. However, during the last three decades the functions, duties and responsibilities of the Board have increased manifold. Board has to implement several environmental legislations and the rules made thereunder which include rules on Hazardous Waste Management, Bio-Medical Waste Management, Municipal Solid Waste Management, Hazardous Chemicals Rules, Battery Rules, Regulation of thin gauge plastic bags, implementation of CRZ notifications, Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, besides compliance of various orders of the Hon’ble High Courts and Supreme Court of India. I submit that, the man power and infrastructure available with the Board is not commensurate with the requirements of added responsibilities. As stated above, which at times results in delay in taking timely actions.
- In order to implement these Rules effectively, the Board has also taken legal action against defaulting local bodies by way of issuing notices and directions under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 read with Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling), 2000. A sample copy of such one directions issued by the MPCB annexed and marked as Exhibit-VII.
- It is submitted that MPCB is taking required actions as directed by this Hon’ble Court and will not spare its efforts in this regard.
Solemnly affirmed at Mumbai on
this 24th day of September 2004.
Identified by me
(Dilip Bhaskarrao Boralkar)
(Ashok B. Jain )
Advocate for Maharashtra Pollution Control Board