Waste dumping in Himachal's eco-sensitive area: NGT issues notice to MoEFCC, others

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has issued notice to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and five others in a matter regarding the dumping of waste in the eco-sensitive area of Koksar in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul and Spiti district.

The NGT was hearing a petition, according to which solid waste was being dumped and littered in Koksar by tourists and commercial establishments, without being disposed of, segregated or processed by the authorities concerned.

It said the place, situated at an altitude of 5,484 metres (17,992.13 feet), was an "extremely ecologically sensitive zone," which remains frozen for over seven months each year.

A bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava and expert member A Senthil Vel said the plea raised a "substantial issue" regarding compliance with environmental acts.

"Issue notice to the respondents," the bench said in an order passed on Tuesday.

The respondents in the matter comprise the MoEFCC, the state of Himachal Pradesh, Central Pollution Control Board, the state Pollution Control Board, Deputy Commissioner Lahaul and Spiti and the village panchayat of Koksar.

Counsel for the applicant, Advocate Akash Vashishtha submitted that the dumping of waste by visitors or tourists was polluting the pristine streams and water channels, causing irreparable harm to the extremely fragile ecology of the Koksar area.

The matter has been posted on April 3 for further proceedings. PTI MNR NB NB

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