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Green Tribunal's impartiality faces litmus test in Delhi's Okhla waste incinerator case

Written By Unknown on Thursday, May 30, 2013 | 7:20 AM

Press Release

Green Tribunal's impartiality faces litmus test in Delhi's Okhla waste incinerator case

Okhla residents are against Jindal’s waste incinerator’s location

NGT pre-occupied with misleading claims of Jindal's 

New Delhi: So far despite 5 orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) in the case of mixed waste burning based power plant in Okhla, the residents of Delhi's Okhla have got no relief. Besides these five orders, Delhi High Court heard the matter 27 times since 2009. NGT will hear the matter again on July 22, 2013.

A careful reading of the 5 orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) reveals that residents of Okhla who are facing public health crisis due to environmental exposure from hazardous waste to energy plant are unlikely to get any relief. The impartiality of NGT faces a litmus test in which it seem to failing.  The order of May 28, 2013 is quite bizarre in its assumptions what the residents of Okhla have been praying for.

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) demands that the transcripts of the arguments and submissions of the applicants and respondents must be uploaded on NGT's website as is done in US courts. TWA finds NGT's lenient approach towards the polluting plant of Jindal Saw Group Limited is intriguing and puzzling. Its a case of environmental lawlessness in the national capital but NGT is yet to order any stringent action against this plant set up illegitimately and illegally in a residential and ecologically fragile area.   

NGT's deafening silence on the 31 page report of the Technical Experts Evaluation Committee of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the Timarpur-Okhla Waste to Energy Incinerator Plant constituted by Union Environment & Forests Minister condemned the Timarpur-Okhla Waste to Energy Incinerator Plant by JITF Urban Infrastructure Limited (Jindal Ecopolis) has violated every rule in the rule book including environmental clearance conditions. It revealed to the Experts Committee in September 2011 that it is using untested and unapproved Chinese incinerator technology in complete violation all laws and environmental clearance of 2007 including its own project design document and environment impact assessment report. Chinese technology provider is from Hangzhou New Century Company Ltd of Hangzhou Boiler Group.The municipal corporation and the State Government is complicit in allowing such a plant.

Earlier the same was heard as Writ Petition (Civil) NO. 9901/2009 in the Delhi High Court against the power plant by Delhi’s Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd (TOWMCL) of M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited (JUIL), a company of M/s Jindal Saw Group Limited.

The details of the case and the text of the orders are given below:

Original Application No.: 22/2013(THC)
It is noteworthy that Union Minister for Environment & Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan has admitted in Rajya Sabha that “complaints were received against the incineration of municipal waste and its likely harmful effects on the air quality and health of people in the Sukhdev Vihar/Okhla area due to the emissions from Waste-to–Energy plant at Okhla… on four occasions out of ten, levels of Particulate matter (PM) exceeded the standard of 150 mg/Nm3” however “the Minister said that as per the Central pollution Control Board, the technology being used by the Waste-to-Energy plant at Okhla is as specified in the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000.” This is far from truth as is evident from the CPCB’s report which is now in public domain. 
In the report, Dr A B Akolkar, Director, CPCB emphasized that as per Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules ‘biodegrdable waste’ is to be treated using biological method rather than deriving RDF or by incineration as is being done by Jindal Ecopolis. This clearly demonstrates that the Timarpur-Okhla Waste to Energy Incinerator Plant violates the Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules framed under Environment Protection Act, 1986.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 9818089660, E-mail:gopalkrishna1715@gmail.com, Web: www.toxicswatch.org
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