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NGT summons Defence Secretary over report on compliance of environmental norms by Armed Forces

The NGT had in September directed the Secretary, Ministry of Defence to file a status report in the matter after ascertaining the relevant facts and status of compliance of environmental norms from different concerned establishments within three months by e-mail. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel then summoned the concerned Joint Secretary.

PTI|
Dec 09, 2019, 04.31 PM IST
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National Green Tribunal
A trommel-cum-ballistic machine that segregates 640 metro tonne waste every day. (Representative image)
NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal Monday took exception over failure of the Ministry of Defence to submit report on a plea seeking scientific disposal of waste generated by weapons, hospitals and other establishments of the armed forces.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel summoned the concerned Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence and directed him to remain present with the status report on the next date.

"Needless to say that order of this tribunal is executable under Section 25 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 read with Section 51 CPC by taking coercive measures including civil imprisonment or costs which aspect will be considered on the next date," the bench said.

The matter is posted for next hearing on February 11, 2020.

The NGT had in September directed the Secretary, Ministry of Defence to file a status report in the matter after ascertaining the relevant facts and status of compliance of environmental norms from different concerned establishments within three months by e-mail.

According to the petitioner Anil Chopra, who is a retired Air Marshal and has also worked as a part of UP Solid Waste Management Monitoring Committee, some of the establishments of the Armed Forces lack requisite knowledge on ecological issues and solution to the environmental challenges particularly in virgin areas.

The waste generated by military weapons, domestic, industrial, biological, hospital and electronic activities (e-waste) needs to be scientifically disposed in the interest of public health and environment, the plea read.

Such problems may also be faced in desert and marine areas which need to be monitored at an appropriate level, it said.

The applicant has referred to three reports -- Environmental Issues and Waste Management by Armed Forces, Siachen Glacier Ecological Issues and Cantonments and Military Stations.

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