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National Green Tribunal (NGT) Imposed 4000 Crore Penalty on Bihar Under Waste Management Rules


An Overview of National Green Tribunal (NGT)

National Green Tribunal (NGT) is responsible to decide on environment-related legal matters arising in the country. The objective behind the establishment of NGT in 2010 was to expeditiously hear and dispose of such matters. In furtherance of performing its duties since then, it pronounced an order recently regarding the waste management problem in Bihar. Bihar has developed a huge amount of waste which is causing harm to the environment as well as the inhabitants of the vicinity. The gap between the waste processing capacity of the state and the per-day waste generation is huge which has resulted in a whopping 11.74 lakh metric tons of legacy waste.

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Solid Waste Management Rules

These rules prescribed the duties of various stakeholders at various levels. It includes the ministries of the central government, state government, and authorities established at the national, state, district and local levels. All these stakeholders have duties and responsibilities to manage the waste generated in their respective jurisdictions. They are responsible for the collection, storage and disposal of waste. It also notifies various technical procedures to accomplish the goal of proper waste disposal in the best possible manner. The state did not implement these rules properly and efficiently hence this fierce situation has arisen in Bihar.

What is Polluter Pays Principle?

The polluter pays principle means that the liability of treating the waste lies on the polluter. A producer is responsible to collect store and dispose of the waste which origins from the products he manufactured or distributed in the market. In the present case, NGT evaluated the waste at the state level and found that the state is producing more waste than it can treat. It is not taking appropriate measures to manage its waste hence the state needs to pay the incurred penalty.

Role of NGT (National Green Tribunal)

Various environment-related legislations like the Water Act 1974, the Air Act 1981, The Environment Act 1986 etc. empowers National Green Tribunal. These Acts prescribe the National Green Tribunal as a judiciary body that will be responsible to deal with all the legal matters arising out of the provision of these Acts and rules made thereunder. The Central Government also drafted and notified the waste management rules under these legislations and hence the NGT has jurisdiction to exercise its powers to implement any such rules.

Apart from the powers inherited from the environment-related legislation, the Supreme Court of India has also granted the powers to National Green Tribunal to try, monitor and decide specifically the matters relating to solid waste management and liquid waste management. These guidelines are prescribed in two prominent cases- one in Almitra H. Patel Vs. Union of India and OR’s. And another in Paryavaran Suraksha Vs. Union of India. The Supreme Court observes that such matters need to be under regular monitoring and the NGT has the requisite expertise to handle these matters.

Reasons for Waste Accumulation in the State

The stats coming out of the state are very threatening. Bihar generates 5437 tonnes of solid waste and 2371 million litres of liquid waste in a single day while the number of processed waste in a single day remains as low as 1365 TPD for solid waste and 178 MPD for liquid waste. This fierce situation has become the direct cause of the accumulation of 11.74 lakh tonnes of solid waste across twenty-six dumping sites. Some of the major reasons for the mismanagement of waste in Bihar are as follows-

  • The citizens are lacking in civil awareness and not segregating the waste at its source.
  • The administration does not have any door-to-door collection system. The households usually throw waste on the roads.
  • Road sweepers leave waste either on the roadside or transfer to a secondary point.
  • The container bins are not adequate and lack maintenance. A robust system is lacking in the overall collection and storage of waste.
  • The local administration transports the waste to a nearby temporary point. From here they take the waste to the dump site. Lack of transportation means always results in overflowing and scattered waste.
  • There is a lack of infrastructure and facilities for the treatment and safe disposal of collected waste.

The waste management rules have robust solutions and procedures to deal with these problems. The lack of implementation of such rules and the lethargic strategies of the state government have resulted in waste accumulation across the state. 

Directions Given by NGT for the State of Bihar

After carefully assessing the situation of the state and taking into consideration the statistics regarding waste accumulation, the National Green Tribunal concluded and pronounced the order in the present case. The NGT ordered a compensation of Rs. 4000/-  crores to be paid by the state on the polluter pays principle.

The state failed in the management of solid and liquid waste and adhering to the laws and judgements of NGT as well as the Supreme Court. The NGT ordered that the chief secretary will keep the amount in a ring-fenced account within two months and he shall direct the use of this amount only for waste (solid and liquid) management in the state as per the given guidelines. He should use the amount for setting up various solid waste processing facilities, remediation of legacy waste and setting up of STPs and FSSTPs to bridge the gap between waste generation and waste processing in the state.

Apart from the order stated above, the NGT also prescribed various guidelines for the state. These guidelines are as follows-

  • The chief secretary will take further remedial measures and implement the order as per the given timelines.
  • He should set apart a ring-fenced account of Rs. 4000/- crores for solid and sewage management. This amount shall be non-lapsable.
  • He should remediate the legacy waste at various ULBs and there should not be any legacy waste remaining and reported in the next compliance report.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board should consult with other states and Municipal Corporations to find out environmentally safe methods and options for this problem.
  • The state should set up Plastic Waste, Construction and Demolition Waste processing plants and ensure that bio-medical and hazardous wastes are not mixing up with solid waste.
  • The state should immediately work on the connectivity between the existing and proposed STPs.
  • There should be a centralised mechanism at the state level to monitor issues relating to compliance of STPs with standards and utilization of treated sewage.
  • The chief secretary of the state has to organise regular orientation programmes to deal with environmental issues at the district level.
  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs may review the utilisation of capacities of STPs and treated sewage.
  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in association with the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Chemical and Fertilisers may maximise the use of treated sewage and compost.
  • Ministry of Power and Ministry of Non-Renewal Energy may hasten the process of setting up waste-to-energy plants.
  • Chief Secretary may set up a centralized single-window mechanism for planning, capacity building and monitoring of waste management at the State and District levels.
  • The Chief Secretary should set up State level Monitoring Mechanism and the District Magistrate should set up District level Monitoring Mechanism for monthly review starting from 1st June 2023.
  • The State may explore utilizing applicable policies for carbon credit by increasing its forest cover and utilising treated sewage.
  • The compliance report should include progress achieved on solid and sewage management for all the ULBs and all the Gram Panchayats on an individual basis with statistics.

The Solution to this Problem of Waste Management

The Bihar Urban Development Authority has attempted a public-private partnership for door-to-door waste collection, street-sweeping, water drain cleaning etc. in Patna. However, the differences were developed between the company and PMC and the dispute regarding the non-payment of the dues reached the Patna High Court. If the government takes this issue seriously and private players jump into the ground to fight the pollution, it may prove a win-win situation for both. The dismantling and recycling plants need to be established on a large scale.

These establishments are governed and closely monitored by pollution control authorities hence you need to go through enormous paperwork. We, at corpseed, do all this paperwork for people like you all over the country. If you are willing to grab this business opportunity in Bihar and want to make such establishments you can get in touch and contribute your part towards a better healthier environment.


Although the National Green Tribunal did its part by imposing the penalty on the state, the state has a lot to perform. The state got huge targets and timelines to achieve and this will require strong efforts on the part of the state. The state has to utilise the amount very carefully and fix the problem of accumulated waste in the state. The gap between processing capacity and waste generation should be bridged as soon as possible.

The state may move forward in the direction of PPP (Public Private Partnership). Through tenders, the order of setting up dismantling, recycling and waste disposal plants can be proposed. Corpseed can help these businesses to establish such plants and fulfil all legal and environmental compliance requirements. Currently, West Bengal is at the top and generating the most waste. Other states should also learn from this instance and work towards sustainable waste management in advance.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.


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Yash Chauhan is a law graduate from the University of Delhi and a skilled content writer at Corpseed. With a keen interest in the legal industry, he specializes in writing articles on contemporary legal developments, corporate compliances,...

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