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HC Gives 2-Year Deadline To Shift Govandi Incinerator

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday expressed displeasure over the delay in the construction of a biomedical waste plant at Patalganga, an area which comes under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation in Raigad district.

Currently, the facility is located in Govandi and the plan is to shift the incinerator to allay the pollution concerns raised by the petitioners.

‘2 years to construct a facility’

Recently, the court had asked the authorities concerned to strive for reducing the proposed construction time of 13 months. Subsequently, the period was revised to 12 months. At this rate, it would take two years to construct the facility, said a division bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhayaya and Justice Arif Doctor. “The court had expected a substantial reduction in duration. In 20 days, we could organise G20 in Delhi,” remarked the CJ while hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Govandi New Sangam Welfare Society.

Explaining the reasons behind the delay, the authorities claimed that issues like environmental clearance are also to be dealt with. While disposing of the petition, the HC has said that the officials concerned and people from the company – Envoclean Private Ltd – will be “personally liable” if the Patalganga incinerator is not commissioned within two years. Since the incinerator at Govandi is still working, the court has also directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to make sure that every month there is an on-site inspection of the pollution levels.

Appearing for Envoclean, senior Advocate Aspi Chinoy clarified that while the incinerator will be shifted outside, but other things like usage of steam and cutting of plastic waste will continue at the Govandi plant. At this, Advocate Zaman Ali, who represents the petitioners, said that checks might still exist on pollution levels even in the absence of an incinerator. With regards to the claim of compensation, the bench directed the litigants to approach the National Green Tribunal.

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