The National Green Tribunal today directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to take a clear stand whether it can differentiate between human excreta and bird poop after a retired army officer approached it alleging that faeces were splattered from aircraft on his South Delhi house before Diwali.
Aviation regulator DGCA maintained that it was impossible to dump human waste mid-air from aircraft toilet and that bird droppings had landed on the complainant’s house, after which the green panel had ordered testing of the excreta samples.
During the hearing, the counsel for the CPCB told the NGT that they don’t have equipment to test whether the excreta sample, taken from ex-army officer’s house, belongs to human or bird.
Earlier, the CPCB had said that there were traces of faecal coliform in the samples, indicating presence of human waste.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar today rapped the apex pollution monitoring body over changing its stand on whether it can differentiate between human and bird excreta and asked it to seek clear instructions on the issue.
“It is surprising that CPCB being such a big organisation does not have sufficient equipments to test whether it is human excreta or bird. CPCB would take clear instructions whether it is fully equipped to determine the contents of the excreta,” the bench said.
It was hearing a plea of Lt Gen (Retd) Satwant Singh Dahiya who has sought action against the airlines and levy of hefty fines on them for endangering the health of residents
The counsel appearing for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), however, said that it was impossible to empty the waste tanks of the aircraft mid-air.
He told the bench that there was a manual system by which the human waste tank is emptied after the flight lands and by no means the cabin crew can operate the tank during the flight.
Responding to the submissions, Dahiya alleged that there was fresh incident of human waste dumping at his house in Vasant Enclave here after which he called the DGCA and the CPC, who took samples from the location.
The matter will be heard tomorrow.
The NGT had asked the aviation watchdog to issue a circular making it clear that aircraft would be subjected to surprise inspection to check whether these tanks are empty or not.
It had last year held that if “any aircraft, airlines and the handling services of registered aircraft” were found to be dumping human waste in air or toilet tanks were found to have been emptied before landing, they shall be subjected to environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 per case of default.
The NGT had also asked the DGCA to carry out surprise inspection of aircraft landing at the airport to check that their toilet tanks are not empty while landing and prevent waste from being splashed over residential areas and any other place before landing.
( Source – PTI )