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If you are thinking of investing in upcoming projects in the real estate hub of India, Mumbai, then, think again. The Supreme Court on Friday announced its bold decision to ban all construction in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, leaving developers shocked.

The negligence of these states towards framing policies for solid waste management, under the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016, even after two years was deemed ‘pathetic’ and their ignorance towards enhancing the standard of living of their citizens, castigated. All building and infrastructure projects will stay until some measures in this regard are taken by the respective State Governments.

Such a rigid rule on waste management was imposed when the Supreme Court heard the tragic case of a seven-year-old Delhi boy in 2015. The victim died of dengue fever, after having been allegedly denied treatment in five private hospitals, which led to his devastated parents committing suicide.  

On the hearing held on Friday, the SC slapped a fine of Rs 3 lakh each on the governments of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh for failure to frame the policy.

A fine of Rs 5 lakh was also imposed on the Andhra Pradesh Government for not filing an affidavit regarding the same. The Centre was not aware if the AP Government had framed the policy or not, was the argument of the Court.

Fines were also levied on states like Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Arunachal Pradesh on July 10th for failing to comply with the guidelines of the Supreme Court and not implementing waste management policies. Those fines have since been paid.  

The states were directed to deposit the fees imposed on them by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, which would use the income for juvenile justice issues.

The panel of judges who heard the case included Justices Madan B Lokur and S Abdul Nazeer, who expressed their dissatisfaction by saying “If they want the people to live in dirt, filth and garbage, what can be done then?”

The counsel for Madhya Pradesh told the Court that they had provided an action plan, along with an affidavit to the Centre. Similarly, the Uttarakhand counsel also told the Court that their action plan contained all the necessary steps to manage solid waste effectively. This led a further hearing to be scheduled on October 9th of this year.

The apex court had earlier expressed anguish regarding the poor solid waste management policies existing in the country, by commenting that “India will one day go down under the garbage.”

Perhaps for the first time, the Indian Government has followed up with the states regarding the implementation of its policies. Such rigid adherence to the law may, someday in the near future, abolish waste management as well as other problems currently rampant in the country.

 

 

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