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Rainwater harvesting: SC stays NGT order imposing penalty of Rs 5L each on educational institutions

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 8, 2019  | 18:03 IST

New Delhi, Apr 8 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a National Green Tribunal order imposing a penalty of Rs 5 lakh each on educational institutions in the national capital for failing to install rainwater harvesting systems. A bench of justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran also issued notices to the original petitioner Mahesh Chandra Saxena, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and others in the matter and sought their reply. "Issue notice. In the meanwhile, there shall be stay of operation of the impugned order (s) of the National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi," the bench said. The top court's order came on a plea filed by the Delhi government and others against January 30 and November 16, 2017 order of the NGT imposing an environment compensation of Rs 5 lakh each on educational institutions in the national capital for failing to install rainwater harvesting systems. The fine was imposed as per NGT's November 16, 2017 order which had said that any institution which fails to install rainwater harvesting system within within two months would be liable to pay environment compensation of Rs 5 lakh. Irked at the lackadaisical approach of the officers in complying with their duties, the tribunal had also imposed a cost of Rs 5,000 each on three officers of the education department. The tribunal's order had come after perusing a status report from the director of education, according to which 424 schools do not have rain water harvesting system and in 505 schools, installation work is under progress. Similarly, in respect of the colleges under Directorate of Higher Education, it has been submitted that nine institutions do not have rain water harvesting systems and in case of three institutions, they are said to be under construction, the order had stated. It had further mentioned that as regards South Delhi Municipal Corporation, 106 schools do not have rain water harvesting system, as on date, which also includes 21 schools for which it is said that such system is not feasible and out of remaining (85) system in 23 schools is under construction. The tribunal's direction had come on Saxena's plea seeking implementation of the November 16, 2017 order of the NGT. Despite the specific direction of the tribunal, they have not submitted the list of buildings, Saxena had said. He had claimed that the government departments, educational institutions and residential societies have either not installed rainwater harvesting systems or have systems which are non-functional. The NGT had earlier directed schools and colleges to approach a committee constituted by it for inspecting the premises and granting permission to institutions for operating the system. If it was not possible to install the rainwater harvesting system, the institution should have approached the committee, it had said. PTI PKS RT

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