Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ministry of Environment and Forests withdraws controversial proposal to modify Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules


The Additional Solicitor General Mr. Kalyan Basavaraj representing the Indian Environment and Forest Ministry appeared before the Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court constituted by Justice Mr. N. Kumar and Justice Mrs. B. V. Nagarathna today and submitted that the Ministry has withdrawn its proposal to comprehensively amend the existing Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2000 and replace it with its 2013 version. It may be recalled that Environment Support Group had drawn the attention of Justice Mr. Kumar and Justice Mrs. Nagarathna that the 2013 Draft Rules were highly regressive and worked against progressive initiatives undertaken in Bangalore and Karnataka under the direction of the Karnataka High Court and that the Draft Rules also promoted the highly dangerous municipal solid waste incineration technologies.

In response to these submissions the Court restrained the Ministry from modifying the existing Municipal Solid Waste Management 2000 Rules by its 24th October order. The Court issued this order as it found that the Ministry's move to comprehensively amend the exist law governing municipal solid waste management and replace them with new Rules promoted the regressive approach of collecting waste without segregation at source and thus leading to a series of problems that not only increased the cost of waste management but also created a variety of environmental and public health impacts. This the Court found “would undo what has been done in the last decade and in particular in Bangalore for the last one year in pursuance of the directions” of the Court, which had strenuously worked to ensure implementation of progressive features of the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2000.

Justice Mr. Kumar and Justice Mrs. Nagarathna have recorded the submission of the Ministry in their order today.

Copies of the orders of the Karnataka High Court dated 24th October 2013 and 11th October 2013, ESG's PIL, ESG's critique of the Draft MSW Rules 2013 and the MoEF's Memo may be accessed at: http://tinyurl.com/l9osbdq




Leo F. Saldanha
Bhargavi S. Rao
Sunil Dutt Yadav
Environment Support Group
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