(Prayer: Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issuance of a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to stop all progressing work immediately for installing solid waste dumping and micro composting process unit as Shakirabad as well as direct the respondents to change the site for installing the same unit from the present SHAKIRABAD area to any other suitable place where water resources may not be contaminated and without creating noxious impacts on human community and nature.)
Subramonium Prasad, J.
1. Instant writ petition has been filed, to direct the respondents to stop all progressing work immediately, for installing solid waste dumping and micro composting process unit, at Shakirabad, as well as direct the respondents, to change the site for installing the same unit, from the present SHAKIRABAD area to any other suitable place where water resources may not be contaminated and without creating noxious impacts, on human community and nature.
2. Petitioner submits that Vaniyambadi Municipality is erecting a Solid Waste Dumping and Micro Composting Process unit, at Shakirabad, Muslimpur, Vaniyambadi, Vellore. The said area is densely populated and is situated in the heart of Vaniyambadi town, having population of tens of thousands. It is submitted that the unit is erected on the banks of river Palar. Palar river is the main source of the water for the area, which will get polluted and will become unfit for agriculture and human consumption. The unit is being set up without proper clearance from the Pollution Control Board. Children studying in the area would get affected and the residents in the area would also have to face the foul smell emanating from the Unit. Petitioner would state that erection of the above said unit would cause environmental Pollution in the area. According to the petitioner, the site which has been chosen for erection of unit is not suitable for the said purpose.
3. The Commissioner, Vaniyambadi Municipality, Vellore District, fourth respondent has filed a counter stating that in the disputed site, a Micro Composing Centre is being constructed where the domestic solid waste such as food waste, vegetable waste are collected in total 9 wards around the Ramaiyanthoppu are the waste is processed for 21 days in concrete based brick walled tubs with cow dung tubs and converted into Manure. The manure will be distributed to the government centres and public in need. It is stated that no Leachate is let out from the site. It is stated that the land is not a Solid Waste Dumping site or Sanitary Landfill. The counter states that the Micro Composting Centre is covered under Schedule-II of the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change Notification dated 08.04.2016 (MOEFCC) and not under Schedule-I. Only the Sanitary Landfills and Solid Waste Dumping Units are covered under Schedule-I of the same, only these schemes have to comply the contentions raised by the Petitioner. There is no necessity for the Micro Composting Centre to obtain any Authorization from the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board even then the Authorization from the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board has been obtained vide Authorization No.23/2019 dt: 12.04.2019 under Form II [see rule 16 (i) (e)] as prescribed in the MOEFCC Notification dated 08.04.2016 under Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The Authorization is applicable to all six MCC's approved in Vaniyambadi Taluk, Vellore District. It is submission of the State that a centralised single MCC can't cater the whole Taluk hence six sites were selected at ward level in the whole Taluk after surveying the wastages collected.
4. It is further stated in the counter that all the places including dwelling house, schools, Masjit etc., are 100 to 250 meters awa from the MCC. The Petitioner is trying to mislead the Court by saying that there is a trust property within 20 meters from MCC and wantonly/falsely calling the MCC as Waste Dumping Unit the Petitioner is put to strict proof of the same. This Hon'ble High Court in various judgment has held that the Micro Compost Centers can be constructed even in residential areas without causing any nuisance to the public and that such centers are necessity for the welfare of the locality.
5. It is further stated in the counter that the MCC is a pucca building with roofing and the entire unit is built up on RCC concrete floor and the processing tubs are brick built, as per the Schedule – II A (e) of MOEFCC Notification dated 8/4/2016. There is no way for percolation and contamination of either ground water or river water and thus, effectively preventing leachates. The manure is processed for 21 days and removed from the tub and after cleaning the same again new domestic bio-degradable waste will be processed. Daily ledger is maintained to account the weight of the domestic waste collected and treated.
6. Heard Mr.R.Ramprasath, learned counsel for the petitioner, Mr.Akhil Akbar Ali, learned Government Advocate for the second respondent and Mr.V.Jayaprakash Narayanan for the fourth respondent.
7. The learned counsel for the petitioner has reiterated the contention made in the writ petition.
8. Mr.B.Ramprasath, learned counsel for the Municipality relies on the order, dated 28/1/2019, made in O.A.No.14 of 2018 (SZ), passed by the National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi and stated that consent to establish was obtained by the Board before embarking upon the project. The said order does not state the facts of the case. A reading of a Notification referred to above would show that the present centre would not require permission from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).
9. The learned counsel for the Municipality submits that MCC is put up to cater the public at large i.e., collecting domestic waste such as food waste, vegetable waste and other bio-degradable domestic waste from 9 wards and treating/disposing them in a legally permissible manner but not intended to cause any hardship to the general public. The learned counsel could state that the unit is an MCC and not a Solid Waste Dumping site as falsely claimed by the Petitioner. The domestic solid wastes are collected from nine wards around the facility and they are processed at MCC at Ramaiyanthope and disposed of to cater the public at large and the same aren't industrial waste. The unit is constructed on RCC Concrete floor and there is no percolation, seepage and won't contaminate the underground water. The MCC situated at Ramayanthoppu, Ward No.F, Survey Block No.18 is built at a cost of Rs.50 lakhs with an installed capacity to process 4.5 Tons per day is implemented after due approval from the Municipal Councel vide Resolution No.164 dated 26.09.2017 by the competant authority and it has been constructed in strict compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The estimate and specification for the construction of MCC was finalised and approved by the Executive Engineer. The sanction for implementation of the Solid Waste Management Project (Micro Compost Center) in Vaniyambadi Municipality under the Swachh Bharat Mission was accorded by the Commissioner of Municipal Administration, Chennai vide Proceedings in “Roc. No. 30355/P3/2016” dated 10.01.2018. As per the proceedings 6 Decentralised domestic Micro Compost Centers with a plant capacity of 4.5 Tons each were proposed to be built aat various places, including the one which is in issue.
10. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, dated 8/4/2016, notifying the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2015. The said Rules lay down the guidelines for erection of composite yards.
11. Material on record would show that on 10/1/2018, the Commissioner of Municipal Administration, gave administration sanction for developing micro level composite centres on Decentralised approach, at various places including the present case for a plant capacity of 4.5 metric tonnes.
12. Pollution Control Board, by an order, dated 12/4/2019, in its proceedings No.JCEE (M)/VLR/TNPCB/SWM/MSW-J-063/2019 dated 12/4/2019, passed the following order:-
“The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, after examining the proposal hereby authorizes the Commissioner, M/s. Vaniyambadi Municipality, Vaniyambadi to operate waste processing/recycling/treatment/disposal facility at S.F.No.Village No.92, S.F.No.75/1B of Valayampattu village for MCC – 1, Village No.92, S.F.No.75/1B of Valayampattu village for MCC 2, Block No.14, Ward E, T.S.No.2 & 119 of Kaerpet village for MCC – 3, Block o.18, Ward FTS No.5 part of Ramaiyanthope village for MCC – 4, Block No.11, Ward F, T.S.No.5 part of Nurullahpet village for MCC – 5, T.S.No.4/3 of Amburpet village for MCC – 6, Vaniyambadi Taluk, Vellore District valid upto 30/3/2020.
The authorisation is hereby granted to operate the SWM facility (MCC) for processing, recycling, treatment and disposal of Municipal Solid Wastes of 33 T/day.
The authorisation is subject to the terms and conditions stated below and such conditions as may be otherwise specified in these rules and the standards laid down in Schedule I and II under these Rules.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board may, at any time, revoke any of the conditions applicable under the authorisation and shall communicate the same in writing.
Any violation of the provision of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 will attract the penal provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986).
1. The local body shall ensure to comply with the provisions of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
2. The local body shall comply with the orders of the Hon'ble National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench judgment dated 22/12/2016 (Original Application No.199/2014 of Mrs.Almitra Patel) and in Application No.606 of 2018 dated 16/1/2019 and subsequent orders/judgments thereto in future.
3. The local body shall submit the annual report in Form IV to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on or before 30th June every year.
4. The municipal solid wastes generated shall be managed and handled in accordance with the compliances criteria and procedures laid down under Schedule II of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
5. The processing facility shall ensure to comply with the disposal standards for treated leachates as per Schedule II (B) of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
6. The local body shall ensure that the segregated plastic waste must be sent to plastic recycling units. The waste plastics shall not be buried/land filled or burnt.
7. Wastes brought to the facility shall not be burnt in open or in any incineration facility
8. The local body shall ensure that 100% source segregation is practiced in all wards and also ensure that the quantity of solid wastes processed is within the authorised quantity.
9. The local body shall ensure that the e-waste, bio-medical waste and industrial hazardous wastes shall not be brought to this Municipal waste processing facility and shall be disposed in accordance with the e-waste Management Rules, 2016, Bio Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Hazardous and other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 respectively.
10. The local body shall ensure that the operation of the facility shall not give rise to any complaints from the nearby.
11. The local body shall provide compound wall all around to avoid the entry of stray animals inside the compost shed and carryover of waste to the surroundings by them.
12. The local body shall process the solid waste received then and there to avoid anaerobic conditions leading to generation of odour and there shall not be any accumulation at any time.
13. All SHG staff shall be provided with personal protection measures and periodical health check up shall be conducted.
14. Rat trap shall be provided in the processing shed.
15. Anti fly measures such as day to day spraying with Dichlorvas with trained worked shall be carried out.
16. Periodical health check-up for the workers shall be undertaken.
17. The processing facility shall ensure that necessary steps have been under taken to avoid contamination of ground water.
18. The local body shall not carry out any landfill activity in the premises of the processing sheds.
19. The leachate and waste water shall be properly collected and utilize in compost beds without any discharge.
20. Necessary preventive measures have to be taken to avoid the contamination from the processing sheds to the nearby ground level water sumps wherever located.
21. All the provisions as laid down in Municipal Solid Wastes Management Rules, 2016 shall be complied and proper documentation shall be made.
22. The Municipal Solid waste generated in the Vaniyambadi Municipality must be managed and handled in accordance with the compliances criteria and procedures laid down in the said rules.
23. The waste processing facility must satisfy the specifications and standards as specified in Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
24. Wastes brought to the facility shall not be burnt in open or in any incineration facility.
25. The unit shall comply with the standards for composting, treated leachates as per the provisions in the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
26. Compostable waste transported to the facility must be covered. There shall not be any spillage of material during transport. There shall not be any odour from the processing facility.
27. The facility shall operate the composting unit without any odour and shall not cause any nuisance to the neighbours.
28. There shal not be any nuisance to the neighbours due to flies.
29. Complete composting shall be ensured before dispatch so as to avoid further composting in the bags leading to generation of gases or odour.
30. Whenever any accident occurs, it shall be reported forthwith in Form V to the District Collector with a copy to Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.
31. It shall be insured that the garbage is received in closed vehicles so as to avoid spills during transit.
32. Awareness and education to farmers on usage of bio compost shall be made by the facility.
33. The Board reserves the right to review, impose additional conditions or conditions, revoke change or alter the terms and conditions of this Authorisation.
34. The unit shall ensure that the compost yard is impervious with proper leachate collection system.
35. The leachate shall be reused in the compost for maintaining moisture level and it shall not be disposed inside or outside the premises under any circumstances.
36. The site shall not be used as a dumping yard.
37. The unit shall continue to develop green belt of adequate depth around the periphery of the proposed site.
38. The unit (processing unit) shall ensure that a buffer zone or no development zone shall be maintained aroun
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d solid waste processing facility.” 13. Accordingly, a detailed project was prepared and the construction is at an advanced stage. The photographs filed by the respondent would show that construction is completed. Respondents have also filed certificates from the Commissioner, Vaniyambadi Municipality that drainage water from the micro composite centre is not being discharged into any river and has been built in compliance with Section 27 of the Tamil Nadu Combined Development and Building Rules, 2019. It has also been certified by the Commissioner that Micro Composite Centre has a processing capacity of 4 tonnes per day and only bio degradable waste is processed at the centre and there is no dumping or sanitary landfill at this site. 14. It is the statement of the respondents that the said centre is collecting the food waste and vegetable waste from 9 wards around Ramaiyanthoppu and are processed for 21 days in concrete based brick walled tubs with cow dung tubs and converted into manure and distributed to the Government centres and public. The centre has been built at a cost of Rs.50 lakhs with an installed capacity to process 4.5 tonnes per day. Sanction for implementation of the Solid Waste Management Project (Micro Composite Center) in Vaniyambadi Municipality under the Swachh Bharat Mission was accorded by the Commissioner of Municipal Administration, Chennai, vide Proceedings in R.O.C.No.30355/P3/2016 dated 10/1/2018. 15. In view of the statements made in the counter, we are not inclined to grant the writ as prayed for by the petitioner. Accordingly, writ petition is dismissed. No costs. Consequently, the connected Miscellaneous Petition is closed.