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The National Green Tribunal today directed the authorities in the temple town of Vrindavan to strictly enforce the ban on the use of plastic bags, warning that two senior Uttar Pradesh officials in the area would be held liable in case of failure to implement it.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar noted that there was no proper place for disposal of the municipal waste in Vrindavan and the civic body had dumped the waste near helipad close to the Yamuna river.
"It shall be responsibility of the district administration and the pollution control board to ensure complete prohibition on use of carry bags and other plastic waste in Vrindavan," it said.
"On failure to do so, the executive officer of the Nagar Palika Parishad and the Mathura district magistrate shall be held personally liable and appropriate proceedings in accordance with the law shall be ordered against them," the bench said.
The ban on plastic was imposed following a 2012 Allahabad High Court order and a 2011 notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests which prohibited carry bags made of "polythene, plastic glasses, bowls, pouches and plates".
The green panel also sought a complete compliance report within six weeks on the dumping of the municipal solid waste in the city and directed the Nagar Palika Parishad to develop the site on Mart road for "segregation, storage, treatment and disposal" of the waste.
The NGT ordered the secretary concerned of the UP government to hold a departmental enquiry and take disciplinary action against the erring officers and the staff who were responsible for indiscriminate dumping of the municipal solid waste and non-compliance of its order.
"The secretary shall immediately submit a report with regard to the disciplinary action taken against the erring officers and the staff to the tribunal, if the departmental enquiry has already been held or on completion of the same," it said.
The NGT asked the UP pollution control board and other authorities to deposit the fines, imposed by it last year, within two weeks, if these have not been deposited so far.
The directions came during the hearing of a plea by seer Madhumangal Shukla who had approached the NGT against "illegal" and "unregulated" disposal of the solid waste in the city.
Shukla had alleged that the entire environment of Vrindavan was suffering due to the lack of implementation of Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 as garbage was being disposed of carelessly in drains and on the banks of the Yamuna, leading to clogging and stagnation.
The plea had claimed that the only landfill site in the city has been sold to the Mathura Mandi Samiti for setting up a wholesale market, resulting in reckless accumulation of garbage on the streets.
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