garbage pile delhi
NGT orders Rs. 10,000 fine for public littering, segregation of solid waste Pictured: Rag pickers collect recyclable material at a garbage dump in New Delhi November 19, 2014.Reuters

In a bid to curb littering, the Green court of India said that Rs. 10,000 fine would be imposed on any person or agency, government or private, for throwing garbage in public space. 

The National Green Tribunal said that all authorities were under "statutory" obligation to ensure that waste was collected, transported and disposed off in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

"Any person, hotel, resident, slaughter house, vegetable market etc that does not comply with the directions or throws waste over any drain or public place shall be liable to pay environmental compensation at the rate of Rs 10,000 per default," the NGT bench headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said. 

They also said that segregation of waste and disposal, depending on the type of waster, must be ensured. 

"All major sources of municipal solid waste generation... should be directed to provide segregated waste and handover the same to the corporation in accordance with rules," it said.

The bench was hearing the petition of one Kudrat Sandhu against violation of waste management norms in Delhi. The bench added that despite Delhi generating 9,600 metric tonnes of solid waste per day, there was no clear plan with the municipal bodies to deal with it. 

Commissioners of corporations were directed to submit a scheme within a month for providing incentives to people who segregate waste at the source. It could be a rebate in "property tax" while penalties could be imposed on "residents, societies and RWAs who do not provide segregated waste".

"As per polluter pays principle, each person will be liable to pay for causing pollution. It's the duty of a citizen to ensure that waste is handled properly... The entire burden cannot be shifted on the state and authorities," the bench said.

The court also underlined its order against fires at waster dumps of landfill sites.

"We direct that corporations, other agencies and fire departments should ensure that none of the dumping site is ever seen at fire. It shall be responsibility and the fire department shall, in consultation with the commissioners of corporations, fix responsibility and deploy fire vehicles for each site," it said. 

The court also suggested for a "decentralised approach" to waste management. "Wherever feasible, the waste shall be composted or biomethanated near to the point of its generation and collection... in that case, it may not be necessary to transport the compostable waste to the landfill site or waste processing plant."

The NGT order, which came on December 2 and was published later, reiterated its order banning the use of disposable plastic glasses "at hotels, restaurants and in public as well as private functions".