Recent times have witnessed rapid increase in urbanization owing to population explosion. This mushrooming of concrete jungle has also caused the levels of pollution to rise to a great extent. The air, water & soil around us comprise of huge contaminants. In addition to the same, elevated levels of garbage and solid wastes have become a common site.
Solid wastes include solid or semi-solid domestic waste, sanitary waste, commercial waste, institutional waste, catering and market waste and other non-residential wastes, street sweepings, silt removed or collected from the surface drains, horticulture waste, agriculture and dairy waste, treated bio-medical waste excluding industrial waste, bio-medical waste and e-waste, battery waste, radio-active waste generated in the area under the local authorities.
Regulation of Solid wastes
With a view to monitor the proper and adequate disposal of the solid wastes generated, the Government enforced the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as “Rules”).
Under Regulation 6 of the said Rules, duty has been cast over the Ministry of Urban Development to coordinate with State Governments and Union territory Administrations to-
- take periodic review of the measures taken by the states and local bodies for improving solid waste management practices;
- formulate national policy and strategy on solid waste management;
- facilitate States and Union Territories in formulation of state policy and strategy on solid management;
- promote research and development in solid waste management sector;
- undertake training and capacity building of local bodies;
- provide technical guidelines and project finance to States, Union territories and local bodies on solid waste management.
The rules impose obligations on the local authorities to prepare a solid waste management plan as per state policy and strategy on solid waste management. [Regulation 15]
Supreme Court’s view point
The Apex Court while delivering its order, in the matter of In Re: Outrage as Parents End Life After Childs Dengue, levied a fine of INR 500,000 [USD 6962 approx.] on the State of Andhra Pradesh and INR 300,000 [USD 4144 approx.] each on the States of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttarakhand and the Union Territory of Chandigarh on account of their failure to submit their respective State/ Union Territory solid waste management policy in furtherance to the rules.
The Supreme Court criticised the lacklustre attitude of the aforesaid State/ Union Territory Governments towards the cleanliness and well-being of their citizens and also ordered the cessation of construction activities in the said States/ Union Territories.
Impact on Realtors
As the real estate sector spreads its wings in the Indian economy, being one of the major contributors towards the country’s economic development, the abovementioned order is expected to adversely impact important industrial sectors such as banking, cement, steel, sanitary, electrical. The said restriction would also cause delay in delivery of the ongoing projects thereby causing the real estate buyers to suffer. Realtors are aggrieved with the ban on the construction work feeling penalized for the State/ Union Territory Governments negligence in complying with the Rules.
The Supreme Court puts its foot down by curbing construction activities in the defaulting States/ Union Territories who failed to provide their policy for solid waste management. The said punishment requires balancing the interests of the individuals residing therein, while considering the right to clean life and environment on one hand and rights of the purchasers of the real estate projects on the other.