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Maharashtra government has been directed to pay 12,000 crore by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) as environmental compensation for improper waste management in the state, according to news agency PTI.

"The compensation under Section 15 of the NGT Act was necessary to remedy the continuous damage to the environment caused due to the shortcomings in managing solid and liquid waste," a bench headed by chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said.

The bench also comprised Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member Senthil Vel, who passed the order pursuant to the Supreme Court directions requiring the tribunal to monitor the enforcement of solid and liquid waste management norms.

It said that the decision to charge the Maharashtra government with 12,000 crore became necessary to "remedy the continuing damage to the environment".

The bench also stated that the absence of quantified liability and the mere passing of orders have not shown any tangible results in the last eight years for solid waste management and five years for liquid waste management, as per PTI reports. 

The continuous damage to the environment was required to be stopped in the future, and the past damage was to be restored, they said, adding that the compensation in respect of the gap in the treatment of liquid waste to be about 10,840 crore, and in respect of un-remediated legacy waste to be around 1,200 crore, and rounded the amount off to 12,000 crore.

The state government has been ordered to deposit the compensatory amount in a separate ring-fenced account to be operated according to the directions of the chief secretary and utilized for restoration measures.

According to the bench, the restoration measures for waste management include establishing sewage treatment and utilization systems, upgrading systems/operations to ensure full capacity utilization, ensuring compliance with standards, including those for faecal coliform, and establishing proper faecal sewage and sludge management in rural areas.

It also cautioned that the restoration plan must be executed in a time-bound manner, and if violations continue, additional compensation may be considered against the state.

 

(With PTI inputs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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