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Maharashtra Government has been rapped by the Bombay High court for failing to come up with an action plan to identify and acquire land across the state for dumping and processing solid waste.

A division bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and A P Bhangale was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking implementation of the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules and closure of dumping sites within city limits.

“How much time does it take to identify a land and acquire it? If you (government) focus and do it then it should not take more than two weeks. We want action. We do not want compliance on paper,” according  Justice Khanwilkar said.

The bench said if the government acquires land and starts dumping and processing waste there then the problem of illegal dumping will diminish.

“Why don’t you (government) formulate an action plan and decide to complete the process within a stipulated time frame? If it is not finished by the time frame then take departmental action against the official concerned. The official will then face contempt action also,” the court said.

The court has posted the matter for hearing on April 3 and directed the government to form an action plan to address the issue.

The court on the last hearing was informed by the government that 14 out of the 26 municipal corporations across the state have not developed processing plants or secured landfill sites to dump and process solid waste.

Only five corporations of Navi Mumbai, Nashik, Nagpur, Pune and Vasai Virar have developed processing plant and secured landfill sites which are authorised by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) whereas seven corporations have partial facilities.

This information was submitted in an affidavit filed by Shree Kant Singh, principal secretary, Urban Development Department.

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