Warning from the recent Bramhapuram fire incident serves as an indicator of potential disasters lurking in the state, the Kerala High Court observed on Tuesday. The court then directed the Additional Chief Secretary of the Local Self Government Department (LSGD) and the Ernakulam district collector to use the powers available to them under the Disaster Management Act 2005 to enforce the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 in all local self-governments.
This action is necessary to prevent disasters or to manage them effectively in case of an emergency.
A Division Bench headed by Justice S V Bhatti said, “For effective prosecution, this Court would consider requesting the Chief Justice to designate or notify one Magistrate Court in each district for prosecuting the offences committed under the Environment Laws.”
The state of Kerala is blessed with countless gifts from nature, and the present generation has a responsibility to act as guardians of nature.
However, the question remains whether we are enjoying these benefits without repaying our debts to nature, as highlighted in the present suo motu writ petition, said the bench.
The recent fire incident at the municipal solid waste management facility in Bramhapuram is a warning sign for society in the state to conduct a comprehensive audit of the generation, management, handling, and handover of municipal solid waste to authorized agencies.
The court asked the additional chief secretary to file a report explaining an alternative viable proposal for solid waste management for all the Municipal Corporations on or before April 11.
The court further directed the PCB to collect samples of water from the water drawing points of the Periyar river, one analysed by the Board, and another handed over to the District Collector for sending to laboratories for analysis and file reports by April 3.