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Compliance of environmental norms by armed forces: NGT irked over absence of Defence jt secy

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The NGT on Wednesday took exception over failure of an official from the Defence Ministry to appear before it and submit a 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, which had summoned the concerned joint secretary, Ministry of Defence, said coercive measures have become necessary.

"The order (to be present) was duly conveyed by email but no response has been received nor has the concerned joint secretary cared to appear. In view of repeated failures, coercive measures have become necessary against the concerned joint secretary, including attachment of salary and issuance of warrant.

"Name of the erring joint secretary be provided by the defence secretary within two weeks. A copy of this order be sent to the secretary, Ministry of Defence by e-mail for compliance," the bench said.

The matter is posted for next hearing on March 2.

The NGT had in September last year 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 email.

According to petitioner Anil Chopra, who is a retired Air Marshal and has also worked as part of the Uttar Pradesh 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 needs 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.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 12 2020. 19:18 IST