On October 24, 2017, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the green court of India, in its effort to control massive pollution in and around Noida, passed an order directing the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida authority) to construct a waste-to-energy plant in Sector 123 within the next six months, while ordering the authority to stop dumping and shift all the garbage from the landfill site in Sector 138A.
A principal bench of the NGT, headed by Hon’ble Justice Swatanter Kumar, delivered the order on a petition filed by Gaurav Choudhury on August 24, 2017, a resident of Sector 137, regarding illegal dumping of waste in an area which was not designated for dumping. The indiscriminate dumping of waste was claimed to pose major pollution and health risks to more than half a dozen housing societies located in Sector 137. In response, the Authority admitted before the Tribunal that the site was merely a temporary one to maintain the solid municipal waste.
Justice Swatanter Kumar upon hearing the petition gave an order stating that waste shall no longer be dumped in Sector-138A. The Court also gave a direction to the Authority to remove and clear all the waste that were dumped from the site within reasonable time. In hindsight, the Court has also directed the housing societies of Noida to set up waste segregation plants.
While clearing waste from one locality which is densely populated is a positive move undertaken by the NGT, it is, on the other hand, quite alarming that it has passed the order to move such waste to another densely populated area which has caused unrest and commotion among the residents of Sector 123 and its vicinity.
To shed more light to this issue, it would be beneficial to know that Noida generates around 660 metric tonnes of solid waste on a daily basis while the Greater Noida generates 200 metric tonnes of solid waste daily. It is also interesting to know that both these towns still do not have an organized waste disposal system and are yet to have a facility to scientifically treat the waste.