NGT slams GDA, GNN on lack of solid waste management in Raj Nagar Extn
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) and Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam (GNN) to install a proper system for collection and disposal of municipal solid waste and ensure that no burning of waste takes place in Raj Nagar Extension.
The NGT was hearing a petition filed by the Federation of Rajnagar Extension (Fed RNE) and an environmentalist in 2017 highlighting the miserable status of civic facilities in Raj Nagar. The order was passed a few days ago.
“We had approached GDA and GNN several times but rather than taking any action, they always passed the blame on each other,” said Sanjeev Sharma, secretary of Fed RNE.
The maintenance of sewer, roads and streetlights for Raj Nagar comes under GDA. However, there is an ambiguity regarding who looks after the solid waste management of the area.
An official of GDA told City Spidey that the solid waste management is looked after by GNN. However, officials at GNN said that GDA handles Raj Nagar as the area is yet to be handed over to GNN. The GNN, though, has started sending notices to housing societies to pay house tax in retrospective manner.
Vikrant Sharma, one of the petitioners, said that they had raised a number of issues, most of which have been resolved during the course of the hearings.
“This petition has pressurized GDA to resolve crucial civic issues as for a change they had to give justification for their incomplete tasks,” Sharma said.
“For instance, the sewage treatment plant located in Raj Nagar was built but wasn’t working. The petition put pressure on them to make it operational,” said Vikrant.
He further added that after the petition, GDA has planted numerous saplings and installed metal and wire tree guards to protect them.
“Chimneys of the diesel generators in housing societies were installed at low heights. After our petition, GDA had sent notices to builders and forced them to raise heights of the chimneys till the top of nearby building so that the residents aren’t exposed to the pollution,” said Vikrant.
However, the issue of solid waste management remains a big worry. “Ragpickers collect waste from housing societies and dump it at any nearby vacant plots. The waste is later burnt causing pollution or scattered around,” he added.
Raj Nagar has Hindon Airbase of Indian Airforce located nearby. “Hercules (one of the planes) loses its height at Raj Nagar before landing. Since the waste contains food leftovers, birds hovering around pose a threat of collision with the plane,” Vikrant added.
The NGT, in its order, has also asked the petitioners to give a presentation to a committee looking after solid waste management woes in Delhi NCR. “We will soon approach them with our suggestions for Raj Nagar,” added a triumphant Vikrant.