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news details
Waste management in rural JK: HC seeks report from RDD
9/17/2018 10:17:10 PM
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Sept 17: As Rural Development Department (RDD) has miserably failed to undertake Solid & Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) in rural areas of Jammu & Kashmir, the Chief Justice of J&K High Court on Monday sought a report from the RDD about the status of waste management in rural areas of state.
Details available with Early Times reveal that division bench of Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) titled Environmental Policy Group V/S Union of India and State of J&K ordered that the RDD should not only be focused on construction of lavatories across state but it must also work on management of waste which is a legal obligation upon them under Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan Grameen.
Two members of Environmental Policy Group who were present before the division bench were pleading the case themselves told the court that crores of rupees have been lapsed by RDD as it did not even send a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to Union Ministry of Rural Development for getting funds for Waste Management in Rural areas of J&K.
Pertinent to mention that Early Times has been covering the issue of waste management in rural areas from last almost two years. Inspite of clear cut guidelines under Swatch Bharat Mission Grameen , the RDD in J&K has failed to appoint Solid Waste Management (SWM) consultants at state/district level who are supposed to help the RDD to prepare the DPRs.
As per the guidelines under Swatch Bharat Mission Grameen, it is impressed upon all the state governments to appoint a consultant in each district who will guide the authorities on solid waste management at village level.
"It is almost 4 years since Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (Grameen) has been launched across country and till date not a single consultant agency has been hired by J&K that would guide the RDD. With the result not a single penny has been released by the Centre for waste management in rural areas " said an official of RDD.
The government, as per sources, is instead focused on construction of lavatories in villages which is marred by corruption and nepotism. Sources say that for each lavatory the officials of RDD ask for Rs 2000 from each beneficiary and the details about such corruption in Parnua block of Budgam were reported by Early Times last month. Most of the lavatories that were shown to have been constructed already existed from years but Rs 12000 each were drawn from state exchequer for the same.
Meanwhile, the Chief Justice also ordered that Chief Secretary must call for a meeting of all the stakeholders so that waste management is given a top priority.
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