The National Green Tribunal has decided to impose a fine of Rs 50000 on the airline whose aircraft empties its human waste tank while still being in the air.
The direction came on 20 December 2016, following a plea by a retired Lt. Gen Satwant Singh Dahiya who sought strict action against airlines for splattering human waste on houses near the IGI airport while landing. He termed the act as a health hazard and a violation of the Prime Minister’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ drive.
• The NGT has directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to issue notices to all the involved airlines to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation and to ensure that they do not release any waste from the tanks anywhere near the terminals of the IGI Airport.
• The decision was taken by a bench chaired by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar.
• Though normally, the collected waste from the aircraft is disposed of by the ground staff after the plane lands, there are cases when there is a leak in the lavatory.
• To ensure the implementation of the same, the DGCA will be conducting surprise inspections in airplanes once they land to check whether their human waste tanks are empty or not.
• The aircraft found violating the direction will be subjected to pay the compensation amount.
The DGCA would be required to submit a quarterly report on their findings and also set up a helpline number to address similar complaints. The amount collected from these fines will then be deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to be used for the purpose of environment protection.
Apart from this, the NGT has also directed CPCB to send a senior environmental engineer to inspect the petitioner’s house and collect samples of human waste if there is still any left for further analysis.