Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding solid and liquid waste management, Sikkim, 03/11/2022

Ministry of Urban Development, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) need to provide safe methods for sewage and solid waste management suiting the climatic and topographical conditions, the National Green Tribunal said, November 3, 2022.

The court said that this is required keeping in view of unique problems of states like Sikkim and other hill states for managing sewage and solid waste. This would involve reaffirmation of sewage management through septic tanks/soak pits and faecal sludge treatment plant (FSTP) in urban and rural hilly areas and carrying out processing of wet solid (degradable) waste by appropriate means including remediation of legacy waste. The Ministry of Urban Development needs to coordinate this activity for which the state may also take initiative, the court said.

To address the issue of waste management in armed forces establishments and cantonment areas in hill states like Sikkim, the NGT directed the Secretary, Ministry of Defence in coordination with concerned authorities to ensure that necessary measures are taken for waste management by adequate monitoring in the interest of the environment and public health. They can also coordinate with urban local bodies concerned, the court added.

The NGT, November 3, 2022 said that the state of Sikkim should take measures to bridge the gaps in solid and liquid waste generation and treatment - by innovative approach and stringent monitoring at the earliest. "Environment compensation for restoration to the tune of Rs. 50 crores can be dovetailed with the state budget. Restoration plans need to be executed at the earliest simultaneously in all districts/cities/ towns/ villages in a time bound manner without further delay," the bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Sudhir Agarwal said.

Compliance has to be ensured by the Chief Secretary, Sikkim.