The National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued an interim order on Tuesday directing the Noida authority to immediately stop dumping waste at a forest located in Sector 54, in response to a petition filed by RWAs of various sectors of the city.
K Arunachalam, an RWA member of Sector 22 said that the NGT also ordered the Noida Authority to remove the waste already dumped in the forest. He further added that the green body asked the authority to be ready to pay penalty if it dumped any further waste at the aforementioned site.
“The Noida Authority has been felling trees for preparing the dumpyard. However, now the NGT has asked the authority to submit a report within ten days regarding the number of trees and plants felled by them. Further, the green body has asked the authority to plant twice the number of trees felled by them,” Arunachalam said.
Arunachalam also alleged that the Noida Authority was dumping 500 to 600 tonnes of waste daily in Sector 54, in clear violation of the solid waste management rules 2016.
Resident welfare associations (RWAs) of Noida sectors 22, 23, 24, 53, 55 and 56 had filed a petition with the green body ten days ago, seeking directions to stop dumping of solid waste at the site in Sector 54. The next hearing in the matter will take place on July 9.
According to the solid waste management rules, 2016, a landfill site should be situated at a distance of 100 meters from a riverbed, and 200 meters from water bodies, highways, habitations, public parks and water supply wells. Further, landfills are not permitted near floodplains and should be located at least 20 kilometers away from airports.
As per residents living nearby the Sector 54 forest, it is located in the heart of the city.
After this order by NGT, the Noida Authority is left with no other place where they can dump the waste collected from residential and industrial areas. The landfill site earmarked in Astoli of Greater Noida, is not ready yet.
Earlier, residents of the aforementioned sectors and nearby villagers had conducted a vast number of protests against the authority’s plan to set up garbage dumps in the city.
Even Dr Mahesh Sharma, Gautam Budh Nagar MP and Union Minister of State had assured the residents that he would not show his face to them if garbage dump yards are set up in Noida. However, he didn't take any concrete steps to address the problem and the people had to approach the NGT in the end.