In blow to BSPCB, HC asks govt to decide fate of waste mgmt plant

BSPCB had withdrawn consent to operate to ₹250-Cr hazardous, biomedical & electronic waste disposal plant being built by Re Sustainability Ltd on bank of river Sone in Koilwar

Waste Management Plant

Patna: In a setback to the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB), the Patna High Court has directed the appellate authority, set up under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act & Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act in the state, to resolve the appeal filed by Re Sustainability Limited against withdrawal of the ‘consent to operate’ for its Koilwar-based waste management plant.

The appellate authority, headed by development commissioner Vivek Kumar Singh, additional chief secretary, industries, Sandeep Poundrik and forest and environment secretary Bandana Prayashi to decide on the matter within three months. The bench of Justice A Abhishek Reddy gave this order on February 7 after the appellate authority failed to decide the matter even after one year since Re Sustainability Limited (formerly Ramky Enviro Engineering Limited) challenged the BSPCB order.

Also Read: NGT imposes ₹4,000-Cr penalty on Bihar for its failed waste mgmt

In February last year, the BSPCB had withdrawn the ‘consent to operate’ to the upcoming integrated waste disposal plant being built at the cost of about ₹250 crore. The Re Sustainability Limited, a Hyderabad-based waste solution company with international reputation, had begun construction of the plant on the bank of river Sone in 2019 for safe disposal of hazardous, biomedical and electronic wastes with zero discharge. As per the laid down norms, the company had got environment clearance from the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) and the consent to establish issued by the BSPCB.

Waking up to the sustained protest from the local people in Koilwar, the BSPCB had carried out inspection of the site by experts in 2022 and stopped its construction on the plea that it violated the norms of pollution. The report also questioned the ground on which the firm got the environment clearance by the Central government.

Also Read: Green curb on Re Sustainability’s mega incinerator plant at Koilwar

However, a team of MoEFCC revisited the spot and in its report stated that the environment clearance was offered the project on genuine grounds. The report also ruled out any flaws in construction of the plant and stated that the company adhered to the provisions to keep pollution under check. The Central government conveyed its observation with regard to the plant construction to Bihar government.

Keeping everything in to account, the bench of Patna high court directed the appellate authority to dispose of the matter preferably within three months. “It is needless to mention that before passing any order, the authorities concerned shall give an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner. Any order passed shall be communicated to the petitioner,” the order stated.

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