GUWAHATI, Nov 17 � In sheer violation of the provisions of the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, the Pollution Control Board, Assam, has not submitted its annual reports to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on plastic waste management in the State.
This has come to light when the CPCB told RTI activist Rohit Choudhury in reply to his petition that for the three years beginning from 2011 to 2014, no annual report has been submitted to it by the PCBA on the matter. This is significant in view of the fact that waste plastic materials have been viewed as a major contributing factor of the city�s flash flood problem.
The CPCB said in its reply� �Nil information is reported, as Annual Reports under Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 for the period 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14 have not been received from the Assam Pollution Control Board.�
Rule 12 (1) of the said legislation says, �Each State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee shall prepare and submit the annual report to the Central Pollution Control Board on the implementation of these rules by the 30th day of September of each year.�
Plastic waste has been defined by the said legislation as���any plastic product such as carry bags, pouches or multilayered packaging, which have been discarded after use or after their intended life is over��
The multilayered plastics have been defined by the legislation as � � � any material having a combination of more than one layer of packaging material such as paper, paper board, polymeric materials, metalized layers or aluminium foil, either in the form of a laminate or co-extruded structure��
Choudhury, in his petition, had sought certified copies of the annual reports submitted by the PCBA for the past three years as mentioned above, under the said legislation.
Case under Wetland Act: The Kamrup (Metro) district administration told Choudhury, in reply to another RTI petition, that it had initiated eight cases to evict those encroaching upon the wetland areas of the district.
The Circle Officer of Dispur Revenue Circle lodged FIRs with the Noonmati, Dispur and Chachal Police Stations on March 9, 2013, against encroachment and earth filling of water bodies, and accordingly, 15 persons were arrested as per Circle Officer�s report. Moreover, 15 FIRs were lodged in various police stations within the district to stop encroachment and earth filling in the water bodies.
The district administration in eight cases named several temples, namghars and one college as encroachers on city wetland areas. Choudhury had asked for the total number and names of the persons against whom cases were filed by the district administration of Kamrup (Metro) till May 14, 2014, as per the provisions of the Guwahati Water Bodies (Preservation and Conservation) Act, 2008, for encroaching upon the city�s wetlands � Deepor Beel, Silsako Beel, Sarusola Beel, Borsola Beel and Bondajan Beel.