NGT issues directions to GoAP regarding waste mgmt

[Bengia Ajum]

ITANAGAR, 29 Sep: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued several important directions to the state government regarding solid waste management in the Itanagar Capital Region (ICR).

While disposing of a petition filed by advocate SD Loda, the NGT asked the state government to submit an action taken report on the series of directives issued by it.

Loda had filed the petition before the NGT, urging it to direct the state government to clean the Senki, the Pachin and the Dikrong rivers in the ICR.

The Itanagar Municipal Corporation (IMC) and the Arunachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (APSPCB) were made parties to the petition.

The IMC submitted details of the steps it is initiating to comply with the NGT norms. The corporation in its submission informed that it has proposed to establish two solid waste management plants in two different locations, in Naharlagun and Itanagar, “for which land acquisition proceedings have been initiated and NOCs have been applied to the department of environment, forest & climate change and the APSPCB.”

“Sewage water from households, hotels, industries, institutions are the main source of pollution of the Dikrong and the Pachin rivers which flow at Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa townships, and to control this pollution, the government of India has accorded approval to set up a 3 mld sewage treatment plant under the AMRUT 1.0 scheme for Naharlagun township, and the project is under progress and will be completed within two years.

“It is further stated that this project will cover the treatment of sewage water of Ward Nos 17 and 18, having 7,272 households, up to 2025, and the remaining households will be covered under AMRUT 2.0, for which a proposal has already been submitted to the government,” the IMC informed.

The NGT urged the IMC to complete the construction of the 3 mld sewage treatment plant (STP) in Naharlagun township by 1 September, 2024, and to file an affidavit of compliance in this regard, “to be sworn by the IMC commissioner.”

The IMC further stated that “sewerage network pipes will be laid and, where required, sewage pumps will be installed for pumping sewage water to reach the STP. The STP will be run by SBR technology, with two SBR tanks to be provided.”

The NGT ordered the IMC to complete it by 31 December, 2023, and to file the affidavit of compliance by 15 January, 2024.

Regarding augmentation of the waste management system in the ICR and development of external infrastructure of landfill sites in Chimpu, the NGT directed the IMC to complete the work positively by 31 May, 2023, and file an affidavit of compliance.

For rejuvenation of the Pachin and the Senki rivers and their tributaries, the IMC informed the NGT that it has submitted its proposal to the government, “amounting to Rs 1,000 crore.”

For this, the tribunal directed the chief secretary to “file his personal affidavit of action taken in this regard for providing adequate funds for rejuvenation of the Pachin and the Senki rivers and their tributaries by 31 October this year.”

The NGT also asked the government to complete the tender process for rejuvenation of the Yagamso river – which is being taken up by the Itanagar Smart City Development Corporation Limited – by 31 October this year.

The NGT also suggested some short-term measures to deal with solid wastes.

“State government, particularly IMC, as an interim measure till adequate number of STPs are established in both Itanagar and Naharlagun and other towns of Arunachal Pradesh, may establish adequate number of faecal sludge treatment plants, which are easier to construct and cost much less.”

“This may adequately address the immediate problem of pollution of sewage into the Senki/Pachin/Dikrong rivers till such time that the main STPs are established,” the NGT stated.

It also suggested using “green plants and associated micro ?ganisms to clean up soil, air and water contaminated with pollutants.”

“Phytoremediation is also an effective way to remove all the pollutants from the polluted river,” it said.