As there is no headway in notifying the Solid Waste Management (SWM) bylaws and their implementation in both Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, the High Court while granting one more opportunity to inform the court about these issues directed to file the status report and Action Taken Report on notification and implementation of same.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta hearing the matter filed by Environmental Policy Group (NGO) through advocate Shafkat Nazir said the authorities were directed to file the updated status report and action taken report with regard to notifying the SWM bylaws and their implementation but the same has not been done. “We have passed several orders whereby the respondents have been directed to give us the details of notification of the SWM bylaws and their implementation. Despite our repeated orders this has not been done”, DB recorded.
He added that the authorities were also required to inform the Court with regard to implementation of SWM bylaws in the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. “In the interest of Justice, we give one opportunity to the respondents to file the status report/Action Taken Report regarding the notification of the SWM bylaws in all local authorities in both the UTs as well as the matters noted in previous order within two weeks from today. List on October 22”, DB directed.
The petition raised important aspect of public health hygiene of the then State of J&K due to non-implementation of the provisions of the SWM rules of 2016 which is an issue in other matters pending before the court as a result Model SWM bylaws stood framed by J&K Housing and Urban Development Department but notification and their implementation by local authorities are still awaited.
Court directed the Government to inform it about the number of tenders floated by them for implementation of the SWM system in the provinces of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and also to disclose as to how many tenders have been implemented and how many are in pipeline and if there is any delay, the reason be submitted before the court in shape of response.
Court also directed Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture and Public Health Engineering as well as Department of Tourism to submit details of SWM and steps taken to address the issue of Solid Waste generated in Department of Agriculture and Horticulture in both the UTs. As regards, the generation of Solid Waste in all tourist resorts and generated in the Irrigation and Flood Control Department in the course of seasonal rains, these departments have been directed to file response with regard to implementation of SWM rules 2016.
They have to give details of establishment of SEM as also the SWM System for which proposal has been floated and if it is not confirmed, the details shall be submitted before the court. Court has found the earlier status reports filed by department HUDD, Tourism, RDD, Horticulture, Agriculture, SMC and JMC are of early 2019. These departments were under direction to update their reports with regard to the issue of SW management and compliance of the directions of court.