Sunday, October 2, 2022

Rajasthan High Court dismisses PIL against animal carcass plant

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The Rajasthan High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a direction against the respondents from reserving the land for the purpose of Hadda Rodi (carcass disposal plant).

Jaidev Singh Bhati, the counsel for the petitioner, urged that the location of the carcass disposal plant at the aforestated location is totally unjustified and arbitrary. The abadi of the Gram Panchayat Kohla is located just 1 km from the proposed site and if the disposal of animal carcass is carried out at such a short distance from the abadi area, it will cause great inconvenience to residents.

The decomposing carcasses may create health hazard to the citizens. He submitted that the impugned order dated 16.03.2022 whereby land measuring 1.518 hectares has been reserved for the carcass disposal plant deserves to be quashed.

Sunil Beniwal, Additional Advocate General (AAG), filed the reply to the petition. In the pleadings made on behalf of the respondents, they emphatically denied the averments of the petitioners.

It is stated that the land in question is entered in the name of Gram Panchayat Ramsara Narayan who gave NOC whereafter, the order for reserving land for the purpose of carcass disposal plant was issued. Boundary wall has already been constructed around the land in question and a big pit has also been dug up. The abadi area is at a distance of more than 1 Km from the carcass disposal plant and thus, no inconvenience or health hazard would be caused to the citizens of village Kohla by the plant. In support of these contentions, relevant documents/orders passed by the revenue authority/courts and a google map have been placed on record.

A bare perusal of the google map filed would clearly indicate that the carcass disposal plant is at a significant distance from any abadi area, noted the Division Bench of Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Chandra Kumar Sangara.

The High Court observed that identical controversy was considered in the case of Kaniram Thalor & Ors. vs Union of India & Ors. (DB Civil Writ Petition 13565/2019, decided on 02.07.2021) wherein challenge was laid to setting up of a Sewage Treatment Plant adjacent to residential colonies in Churu. The High Court elaborated upon the controversy and held as below:-

“Challenge in the present writ petition has been made for setting up a Sewage Treatment Plant at Forest Land and Adjacent to Residential Colonies, District Stadium and Krishi Upaj Mandi,Churu. Various objections have been raised as to why the location of this Sewage Treatment Plant is inappropriate and otherwise affects the local sanitary of that area.

Having heard the Learned counsel for the petitioner as well as Mr. Shah for the State, we are of the considered view that certain public may have to suffer minor difficulties for the purpose of larger public good.

Consequently, we are not inclined to entertain the present PIL and dispose of the same directing the State and its authorities to set up the Sewage Treatment Plant at the earliest putting in place all safety requirements for the operation of the said Sewage Treatment Plant.

With the aforesaid observations, the writ petition stands disposed of. A certified copy of this order be provided to learned counsel for the respondents for necessary compliance.”

Therefore, the Bench was of the view that apparently thus, for the purpose of larger public good, if a certain set of citizens may face minor inconvenience, that cannot be a ground to undo the proposal of the authorities to set up the questioned carcass disposal plant.

“The establishment of such a disposal plant is imperative because non-availability of such a facility leads to the unscientific random disposal of animal carcass which is a greater health hazard to the society. However, we direct the respondents to ensure that the area in question is encumbered by a proper boundary wall. Extensive plantation shall be made therein so as to prevent foul odours which may cause inconvenience to the residents of the area in question.With the above observations, the instant writ petition is dismissed,” the order reads.

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