Right to pollution-free air falls within Article 21 of the Constitution, says petitioner
Telangana High Court on Friday issued notices to State government, Telangana State Pollution Control Board, GHMC and others over a PIL plea seeking relocation of Jiyaguda dumping yard.
A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao instructed them to file a status report on the dumping yard within four weeks. It appointed lawyer Avinash Desai as amicus curiae to assist the court in adjudication of the plea.
A letter earlier written by a law student Kasturi Pavan to the HC CJ seeking relocation of the dumping yard was converted into PIL petition. The petitioner wanted the court to instruct the PCB to immediately act upon the issue. He also requested the court to pass directions awarding compensation to the residents living in the dumping yard vicinity as they were being deprived of the fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The student stated that everyday hundreds of trucks carrying garbage, which includes human excreta cleared from septic tanks, dump waste at the yard. Animal carcasses and litter from different parts of the city is shifted there.
This resulted in pollution of air, soil, groundwater in and around the dumping yard.
The area became a breeding ground for mosquitoes and house flies. Entire area gets engulfed in unbearable stench whenever winds blow.
Despite submission of several representations, the GHMC authorities turned a deaf ear to the pleas of people for past six years, he mentioned in the letter.
Citing a Supreme Court verdict, the petitioner said that right to pollution-free-air fell within Article 21 of the constitution. “A petition under Article 32 for the prevention of pollution is maintainable at the instance of the affected persons or even by a group of social workers or journalists, the verdict said.
The petitioner stated that National Green Tribunal criticised the State government on March 7, 2020 for failing to treat solid and liquid waste in the State.
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