New Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has directed the Railway to ensure that tracks are not used for defecation and waste water disposal from habitation nearby.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said private agencies hired for catering or for sanitary management should not dispose waste other than at designated places.
It needs to be ensured that Railway tracks are not abused for defecation and waste water disposal from habitation nearby,” the bench said.
In the interest of hygiene, public health and clean environment, it is necessary that the Railway Board ensures development of a model design plan/SoP to enable individual stations to evolve a suitable Environment Management plan covering all aspects of waste management, the bench said in its November 18 order.
The NGT said the locomotive maintenance working area generating hazardous waste, oils, scrap, etc may have waste processing or treatment facility duly authorised by state pollution control board under waste management rules.
The green panel noted that out of the 720 major railway stations across the country, only 11 have applied for ‘consent’ in terms of the Water Act and Air Act and only three have applied for ‘authorisation’ under statutory rules under the Environment Protection Act.
The NGT had earlier directed the Railways to identify and develop at least 36 stations as ‘eco-smart stations’ and to submit an action plan for maintaining cleanliness on platforms and tracks.
The green panel had asked the Comptroller and Auditor General to conduct a performance audit at regular intervals.
The NGT had said there was an urgent need for the railways to put in place an effective implementation and monitoring mechanism with provisions of fixing accountability of individuals in respect of solid waste disposal, littering of solid and plastic wastes, defecation, etc.
The NGT was hearing a petition filed by lawyers Saloni Singh and Arush Pathania seeking steps to check pollution on railway properties, particularly on tracks.