Monitoring Committee report on waste management in Punjab, 27/12/2022

Final report of the Monitoring Committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal on various environment issues in the state of Punjab, with respect to compliance of order dated February 8, 2022 in Original Application No. 360 of 2018 in the matter of Shree Nath Sharma Vs Union of India & Others.

The report mentioned the compliance status of environmental norms in respect of various thematic areas as mentioned in District Environment Plans of various districts of state of Punjab. The report was submitted on December 27, 2022.

The report mentioned that 84 per cent of source segregation of solid waste has been achieved by all the municipal councils of the state, whereas, as per discussion held with the District Level Officers of various districts of the state by the Monitoring Committee, it has been observed that almost all Municipal Councils/corporations of various districts have achieved 55-100 per cent source segregation of solid waste.

As per the reports submitted by the officers of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, who were deputed to visit various sites of the solid waste management, there was poor segregation of solid waste or negligible source segregation of solid waste. "The situation was too alarming and miserable," the report said. On the request of the officers of the Municipal Corporations/ Councils of various local bodies of districts of the state, the timeline to achieve 100 per cent source segregation by MCs has been extended to December 31, 2022.

The Monitoring Committee recommended that all municipal corporations/councils and other departments may provide adequate number of compost pits for treatment of wet waste by September 30, 2022/ December 31, 2022. The wild grass grown in the compost pits may be removed immediately by all the MCs, wherever such irregularities have been observed and these compost puts may be utilized in a scientific manner. All the MCs and other departments need to ensure that these compost puts may be utilized entirely for treatment of wet waste and no other waste may be disposed of into these compost pits. Likewise, the municipal corporations and councils and other departments should provide adequate number of material recovery facilities (MRFs) for treatment of dry waste by September 30, 2022/ December 31, 2022.

Regarding remediation of legacy waste, it was observed that during the visit by officers of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) there was no or negligible remediation of legacy waste and some of the legacy waste dump sites are located on the bank of water bodies. At some legacy waste dump sites, animals were found eating solid waste and at some places of legacy waste dump sites, fire incidents were observed.

At some places, solid waste was found dumped underground and concerned MCs (Ludhiana, Batala, Jagraon, Hariana and Ferozepur) were directed to extract the said solid waste and may be remediated in a time bound manner. In the data submitted by the Department of Soil and Water Conservation with respect to laying of irrigation network to utilize treated sewage for irrigation, utilization of treated sewage of 57 sewage treatment plants (STP) of capacity 305 MLD in a command area of 8327 hectares, irrigation network has been completed.

The work of laying an irrigation network for utilization of treated sewage of 7 STPs of 114 MLD in command area of 4015 hectares is under progress and the same shall be completed by March 31, 2023. Further, in case of 12 STPs of capacity of 1013 MLD mainly of Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar - irrigation schemes are not feasible due to thick populated area or non availability of command area for utilization of treated sewage of the said towns for irrigation.