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NGT asks Visva-Bharati, Birbhum dist to ensure solid waste mgmt during 'Pous Mela'

NGT asks Visva-Bharati, Birbhum dist to ensure solid waste mgmt during Pous Mela

Kolkata: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Visva-Bharati University authorities and the Birbhum district administration of West Bengal to ensure solid waste management during the annual fair 'Pous Mela', which will be held in the last week of December.

In a directive dated December 11, the NGT bench comprising Justice S P Wangdi, A K Goel and S Singh Garbyal said, "While the fair has great cultural significance for the people of West Bengal and the country, waste management will only add value to the event and not obstruct the same."

Recalling an earlier order to the varsity asking it to construct solid waste management and sewage treatment plants, NGT said applicant Subhas Dutta has informed the green bench that solid waste is generated in the campus throughout the year as 6,500 students and 520 faculty members reside in it.

The NGT ordered constituting a new committee comprising the chief secretary of West Bengal, vice-chancellor of the university, district magistrate of Birbhum and representatives of the Bolpur Municipality, Shantiniketan Trust and the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WPPCB).

The state pollution control board will be the nodal agency for long-term monitoring of solid waste management in the varsity, the NGT order said.

The tribunal had earlier formed a three-member committee to oversee and monitor solid waste management arrangements for the 'Pous Mela'.

Environmentalist Subhas Dutta, WBPCB Chairman Kalyan Rudra and former Advocate General of West Bengal, Jayanta Mitra are members of the panel.

This committee, which was formed to monitor solid waste management during events like Pous Mela, may continue to function and oversee the measures taken towards it and submit reports to the WBPCB, the order said.

The tribunal said 'Pous Mela' may be conducted this year like previous years by taking necessary measures towards environmental conservation.

'Pous Mela', which draws lakhs of people from India and abroad, will be held from December 23.

The fair was started in 1894 by Rabindranath Tagore's father, Maharshi Debendranath, and Visva-Bharati University has been organising it since 1951.



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