The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has rapped the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for not filing a report on a plea alleging that burning of imported cheap waste paper and road sweep waste at brick kilns was causing air pollution.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the ministry to file its response before October 14.
The green panel said there was absence of proper mechanism for plastic waste management, including cheap waste paper and imported hazardous road sweep waste.
“No report has been filed by the MoEF nor any one is present which is happening in several important cases as already noted. The joint secretary MoEF may remain present during the hearing on the next date,” the bench said.
The NGT had earlier directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure that no plastic bag less than 50 microns of thickness be manufactured, stocked, sold and used in the country.
The green panel also asked the CPCB to ensure that no unregistered plastic manufacturing and recycling unit is in operation and no unit is running in non-conforming or residential areas.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Amit Jain, who alleged that cheap waste paper and road sweep waste is imported from the US, Europe, and other places for burning in brick kilns, causing land and air pollution.
“Large plastic waste yards can be seen near recycled paper mills. Import of cheap waste paper is hazardous and is affecting the environment. The import is to the extent of 9,00,000 tons of waste which generates hazardous plastic,” the plea said.