NGT: Shift PIL on sanitary pad disposal to Delhi bench

The MPCB had admitted it is duty-bound†to prepare a proper plan for the disposal of absorbent hygienic product waste.

Mumbai: Social activists demanding the proper disposal of sanitary napkins have been asked by the Pune bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to move their public interest litigation (PIL) to the Delhi bench of the NGT as there are only three judges available in Pune and lots of public interest litigations pending there. Activists are fighting for the issue in NGT for last two years.

Activists from various backgrounds had filed a PIL in November 2017, demanding directions to sanitary napkin and diaper manufacturers to provide pouches or wrappers for their proper disposal. “We are getting dates. Now they have asked us to shift our PIL to the Delhi National Green Tribunal. It is not that easy to shift a PIL,” said petitioner Supriya Sonar-Jan. She also added, “If we shift the PIL to Delhi National Green Tribunal, hearings and arguments will be on video calling.”

In one of the hearings, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) admitted that it is “duty-bound” to prepare a proper plan for the disposal of all absorbent hygienic product waste, including sanitary napkins, but no step had been taken by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board in that regard.

According to another petitioner, Asim Sarode, a lawyer, the procedure to shift the PIL to the Delhi NGT is a ‘lengthy process’. He said, “We have to wait till the elections get over and the new government is formed to have more judges for the National Green Tribunal.”

The Supreme Court (SC) had ordered the appointment of 20 judges, but only three judges are working. “This is nothing but political shrewdness and environment ministry of forests is doing it deliberately to support entrepreneurs,” he added. There are many PILs related to environment issues pending in Pune (Maharashtra) National Green Tribunal which are neglected for no reason.

The recent date is given by the National Green Tribunal is April 26.

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