The National Green Tribunal announced on 3 May 2017 that anyone found dumping electronic waste (e-waste) on the banks of Ramganga River in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh would be fined a sum of Rs one lakh as environment compensation. The decision was taken by a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar. Explaining the move, the bench stated that it had been brought to their notice that huge quantity of hazardous e-waste generated from various industries in powder form was being disposed on the bank of the Ramganga River and the same was duly verified by a joint inspection conducted by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The bench further added that the hazardous waste is highly polluted and contains heavy metal, which is injurious to both human health and environment. The bench constituted a committee comprising representatives of departments concerned for the immediate removal of waste lying on the river’s bank and sought a detailed report on the same within two weeks. The committee would include member secretary of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) or his nominee, district magistrate of Moradabad, the representative from UP government, Moradabad Nagar Nigam and Deputy Superintendent of Police of the concerned area.
According to the new ruling, all industries found illegally dumping e-waste on the river’s bank shall be made to pay environment compensation of Rs one lakh per incident. The compensation would, however, vary from Rs 50000 to Rs one lakh depending upon the quantity of waste dumped. The sub-divisional magistrate of the area will be responsible for recovering money from defaulters. The order was passed during the hearing of a case related to cleaning of river Ganga when the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board sought direction from the tribunal on proper disposal of e-waste. Ramganga, which spans a length of 596 km, is a tributary of river Ganga. However, the bench noted that the Ramganga River is highly polluted as it carries a Biochemical oxygen demand load of 128 tonnes per day and suffers from heavy discharge from various industries such as paper, sugar, textile, dying and distillery.