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Calcutta High Court directs authorities to ensure segregation of garbage done in a proper manner

The Calcutta High Court has observed that the authorities upon establishing the solid waste management plant shall ensure that the area is kept clean and the segregation of the garbage is done in a proper manner and also to ensure that the local residents are not in any manner affected by the establishment of the solid waste management facility.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice T. S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed alleging that a plot in Mouza – Chithaliya, Police Station – Gopalnagar, District – North 24 Parganas is being illegally converted into an organic fertilizer plant.

According to the petitioners, the area is a densely populated area and 300 families are living around the said plot of land and if the area is converted into an organic fertilizer plant, it will be a nuisance to the general public and it will be hazardous. Further, it is alleged that dead animals are also being dumped in the said land.

The State advocate has submitted written instruction given by the Block Development Officer, Bongaon Development Block, Bongaon, North 24 Parganas from which , the Bench noted that the facility, which is to be established is not an organic fertilizer plant but a solid waste management plant, which comes under the Central Government scheme namely, Swachha Bharat Mission. It has been specifically stated that the plant does not deal with dead carcasses. The organic and plastic wastes being collected will be recycled into an organic fertilizer and recyclable plastic product respectively and there are many such projects successfully being already operated across the country and none of which pose a hazardous threat to public health.

Further it is submitted that the local villagers have been informed that the plan of an Anganwari School has already been proposed and the plan for children’s park will be taken during the upcoming annual action plan and both the plans can co-exist with solid waste management since an organic fertilizer or a plastic recycling hub cannot be considered as a health hazard rather such projects are undertaken with a goal to reduce the health hazards.

Further it has been stated in the report that the authorities had organized sensitization programme to remove any kind of misconception about the eco-friendly project and necessary awareness programme have already been made known amongst the public that the solid waste management is a programme to turn daily household wastes into an organic fertilizer and recyclable plastic products, which will also reduce the chances of vector borne diseases.

In the light of the report submitted by the Block Development Officer, which is taken on record, the Court found that the apprehension of the writ petitioners is baseless.

The authority shall continue to sensitize the local public and if need be, a door to door campaign handing over pamphlets as to why the solid waste management plant is being set up can be distributed in the locality so that the public gain confidence and stand duly sensitized about the need for such a project , the Court further observed.

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