A Court-1 division bench of Uttarakhand High Court passed these directions regarding to handling of plastic solid waste by the producers, importers and sellers in the State.
Order Dt: 07-Jul-2022
From Paras 15-17,
Jitender Yadav Vs Union of India on 07 Jul 2022
15. We direct the respondent Uttarakhand State Pollution Control Board to state, on affidavit, as to how many manufacturers, brand owners or importers, have registered themselves with the said Board in terms of Rule 13 of the Rules. They should also indicate the particulars of those producers, importers, and brand owners, who have not sought registration and complied with their obligation under the said Rules, and who are manufacturing plastic products/raw materials or are importing into the State, or selling their brand of goods within the State of Uttarakhand, while using non-biodegradable plastic.
16. We also direct that those producers, importers and brand owners, who do not register with the Uttarakhand State Pollution Control Board within the next fifteen days, shall not be permitted to either produce, or import into the State of Uttarakhand, or sell products of their brands, in the State of Uttarakhand, and the State shall ensure that all such products, which are contained in plastic sachets or pouches or packaging, are not permitted to enter the boundary of the State, or sold, in any manner whatsoever. Wide publicity shall be given to these directions by the State, so that all concerned have notice of it.
17. Since the primary responsibility for collection of used multi-layered plastic, sachets, or pouches, or packaging is of the producers, importers and brand owners, and it is their obligation to prepare their plan for collection and to submit the same to the Uttarakhand State Pollution Control Board while applying for consent, the Uttarakhand State Pollution Control Board shall also require all producers, importers and brand owners to strictly comply with this requirement. The affidavit to be filed by the Uttarakhand State Pollution Control Board should also indicate as to how many producers, importers and brand owners have provided the said plans, and those producers, importers and brand owners, who do not provide their plans for collection in the next 15 days, shall not be permitted to either produce, import or sell their brands, in the State of Uttarakhand, in plastic receptacles.
Order Dt: 19-Oct-2022
From Paras 6-9
Jitender Yadav Vs Union of India on 19 Oct 2022
6. Till date, the Commissioners have not filed their respective affidavits disclosing as to what steps they have taken to monitor the working of the District Magistrates in the discharge of their obligations. What we find from the various affidavits filed before us is that the various authorities, including the State Level Monitoring Committee, have been issuing paper directions to authorities subordinate to them, particularly to the Urban Local Bodies, and the District Magistrates. However, there is no monitoring of the directions being issued, let to find out whether they are being implemented.
7. We make it clear that mere issuance of such directions on paper by the higher authorities cannot be considered as discharge by them of their respective obligations, as it falls on them to ensure that their directions are complied with. It is necessary that the higher authorities monitor the implementation of the directions issued by them, by calling for actual reports, and by undertaking site visits and ground surveys. However, that does not appear to have been resorted to at all. The issues we are confronted with cannot be resolved merely by sitting in a closed office room.
8. We direct the Commissioner, Kumaun and Commissioner, Garhwal, to hit the ground with the respective District Magistrates falling within their respective jurisdiction, and to make ground surveys, town by town and village by village, to ensure that Solid Waste Management is implemented in true letter and spirit. Compliance affidavits shall be filed by the Commissioner, Kumaun and Commissioner, Garhwal before the next date, failing which they shall remain present in Court to explain their non-compliance of our directions.
9. We direct the Registrar (Judicial) of this Court to create an E-mail ID, namely [email protected], which shall be open to the public at large to send their complaints regarding the solid waste, which is collected and not removed in any part of the State, be it within municipal limits, or in rural/forest areas. On the said E-mail ID, only complaints regarding solid waste, of whatever kind, would be entertained. Along with the complaint, the complainant should also upload the photographs to show the collection/ non-disposal of solid waste, clearly identifying its location. The complainant should clearly provide his/her identity and contact details. The complaints, which are received, shall be perused by the Registrar (Judicial) after 05:00 P.M. every day. These complaints shall be printed out, provided they relate to issues regarding solid waste in the State, and not otherwise. The complaints, as received, shall also be forwarded to the respective Commissioners of Kumaun and Garhwal electronically on their respective E-mail IDs, depending on whether the complaint relates to Kumaun or Garhwal region. It shall be the responsibility of the respective Commissioners to then have the complaints actioned. The Commissioners shall revert within two working days of the complaints being forwarded by the Registrar (Judicial) to inform as to what steps have been taken in respect of the complaints so received.
10. We direct the State to circulate the aforesaid Email ID in the entire State by publishing the same in daily newspapers and local Doordarshan channels, and encouraging the people to log their complaints with necessary particulars. All the District Magistrates are also directed to ensure the circulation of the said E-mail ID within their respective districts.