The National Green Tribunal has directed the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) to consider granting permission for the operation of a waste-to-energy plant and managing of a landfill site at the defunct Bandhwari sewage treatment plant at Haryana’s Gurgaon. A bench headed by acting Chairperson Justice UD Salvi asked the state pollution board to decide on the grant of authorisation to Eco Green Energy Pvt Ltd under Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 within two weeks. The direction came on a complaint by the residents of nearby villages about water contamination in their area. The NGT was informed that to tackle the leachate generated due to accumulation of waste, the treatment unit would be operationalised by March 31 and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has suggested an action plan on it. It was told that the total accumulated waste at the dump site was around 2 million tonnes. “As regards the legacy waste is concerned, the CPCB in its inspection report has observed that it was informed to them regarding the initiation of steps like bio-mining of waste from October 2016 onwards. “Counsel appearing on behalf of municipal corporation submits that he is not in a position to inform the tribunal as to what steps have been taken regarding bio-mining. He submits that Project Proponent — Eco Green Energy Pvt Ltd — has to use RDF (refuse derived fuel) produced from the accumulated waste for energy generation,” the bench noted.
Bio-mining is the use of micro-organisms to dispose the accumulated waste. The green panel had earlier slammed Haryana government and its civic bodies over disposal of industrial waste and construction debris in the Aravalli forests along the Gurgaon-Faridabad road. Several residents from nearby villages had appeared before the NGT and alleged water contamination in their area. They had told the NGT that continued dumping of waste at the Bandhwari landfill site had led a stream of “dirty, black water” or leachate into the Aravalli forest, polluting the aquifers around both Delhi and Gurgaon. The villagers, who were accompanied by an NGO, submitted water samples to the green body.
They had alleged that “reckless dumping” of industrial waste and construction debris was taking place in the green area and sought urgent directions from the bench in this regard. The green panel was hearing a plea filed by environmentalist Vivek Kamboj and Amit Chaudhery, alleging that the municipal corporations of Gurgaon and Faridabad were disposing of industrial waste and construction debris in forest areas along the Gurgaon-Faridabad road. Kamboj had referred to a media report which said that construction debris was found dumped in the forest area and quoted a resident there who stated that lot of vehicles dumped waste in the forest area every Sunday morning.