Vrindavan, May 11 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday slapped a fine of Rs.5 lakh on the Mathura district magistrate for failing to prevent dumping of solid waste along the Yamuna river here.
A fine of similar amount was also imposed on the executive officer of the Vrindavan municipality while the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board official in Mathura district was fined Rs.1 lakh.
Petitioner Madhu Mangal Shukla told IANS: “A court commissioner visited the Vrindavan sites and collected photographic evidence to nail the truth. At one stage, the local municipal body threatened me with FIRs for what they said was ‘blackmailing’. But the truth is now out.”
Shukla was threatened with police action after the Vrindavan municipality, in a unanimous resolution, accused him of burning trash to tarnish the elected body’s image.
Talking to IANS, Ram Asrey Kamal, the executive officer of the local body, said: “He (Shukla) has been indulging in such activities for a long time.
“He stopped construction of a bridge over the Yamuna by going to the Allahabad High Court and securing a stay. Now he is conspiring against the local body by burning garbage and taking pictures. We will file an FIR against him as directed by the municipal committee.”
The officials named in the NGT order have to undergo internal inquiry and the fines would be collected from their salaries.
The NGT has ordered an immediate ban on use of plastic and polythene in Vrindavan. The district authorities have been told to stop burning garbage and make proper arrangements for solid waste disposal.
The NGT has asked the local administration to file a status report within a month.