ITANAGAR, 20 May: The Itanagar permanent bench of the Gauhati High Court on 12 May directed the urban development & housing (UD&H) department and the West Siang deputy commissioner to convene a meeting with the authorities of the pollution control board “to sort out the ill-managed waste or garbage dumping issue at Aalo town within 10 days.”
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by advocate Reken Ingo in 2021 against the UD&H department, the West Siang DC and the State Pollution Control Board for “haphazardly and unmindfully dumping garbage and waste at Hissam village in Aalo township area, causing pollution in township area as well as at Yamgo river.”
The court also asked the department and the district administration to “take appropriate decision for an early implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, so that a master plan is prepared and the prescribed duties and responsibilities of the village authorities are followed in terms of the said rules.”
The court also asked the authorities concerned to “explore the possibility of incorporating provisions in appropriate bye-laws for imposing fine from the people who throw garbage on the road and aggravate solid waste pollution in the concerned area.”
It further asked the authorities to “chalk out a programme to have periodical meetings as may be required for implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules and submit the minutes of the meeting before the court through learned standing counsel for the urban development and housing.”
In its clarification, the department claimed that a site had been selected for disposal and management of waste and approximately Rs 20 lakhs invested, “but due to public protest and objection, the waste dump could not be set up.”
The department also said that it is now exploring the possibility of relocating the dump site to another area.