Due to a lack of garbage collection for the previous ten days, a heap of garbage was burned at the Iawthymme market in Ladthadlaboh, Jowai, defying a standing order prohibiting garbage burning in public, on Monday evening.
The order prohibiting the burning of garbage was issued by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) on December 14, 2020. According to the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, the waste generators are prohibited from throwing, burning or burying solid waste on the street, open public spaces or in the drain or water bodies.
The Hon’ble National Green Tribunal (NGT) in its Judgement pronounced on 22nd December 2016, prohibited open burning of waste on lands, including landfill sites. It stated, “Any violator shall be liable to pay environmental compensation” for a simple burning the amount charged is Rs. 5000/- and for bulk waste burning the amount charged is Rs. 25,000/-. The competent authority shall recover the environmental compensation as arrears of land revenue in accordance with the law.
All local authorities/bodies (includes the municipal corporation, nagar nigam, municipal council, nagarpalika, nagar Palikaparishad, municipal board, nagar panchayat and town panchayat, census towns, notified areas and notified industrial townships with whatever name they are called in different States) shall ensure compliance to the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and orders/judgment passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the subject matter, as stated in the notice.
The notice was distributed to all local authorities in Meghalaya to ensure that open garbage burning was prohibited. However, due to the District’s lack of proper waste management, the locals stated that there was no other option but to burn the massive pile of trash.