HC Orders Strict Polythene Ban, Warns Officials Over ‘Deviation’

Srinagar—The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday directed the government to strictly implement ban on use of polythene even as it warned officials of fine if there was any deviation of its orders.

A division bench of acting chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice M K Hanjura directed Commissioner Secretary House & Urban Development Department to ensure that the ban on use of plastic and other polythene items is implemented by concerned officials in letter and spirit.

“If there is ban on use of plastic and other polythene items, the concerned officials shall effectively implement (it). If there is any deviation on part of officials they will suffer consequences with costs,” the court said.

The court sought to know about the tenders floated or in pipeline with regard to solid wastage management in three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

It also directed Agriculture, Horticulture and Floriculture departments to furnish details about treatment of biodegradable waste generated in fruit and vegetable mandis and markets across the state as per different Centrally sponsored schemes including National Mission for Sustainable Horticulture (NMSH) and other schemes.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by an NGO, Environmental Policy Group (EPG), through its counsel Shafqat Nazir. The PIL is also seeking directions to government to treat and dispose of the Bio-Medical Waste generated in all private, government hospitals, nursing homes, clinics etc across the State in accordance with rules.

The petition also seeks directions to the government to take steps for treatment of fruit and vegetable waste across the state.

“The waste gets mixed with other non-biodegradable waste and finally dumped unscientifically at the landfill site despite the fact that a proper mechanism was available for getting funding from Union Agriculture Ministry for purchasing machines to process the same which will be finally converted into organic compost.”

The NGO also seeks the details of funds generated at state level, requisitioned from Union Government and details of utilization of the work done so far vis-à-vis implementation of Solid Waste Management under Swachh Bharat Mission till date.

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