International edition
October 20, 2021

Casinos must submit a periodic site inspection report

India assigns committee to oversee casinos’ compliance of waste regulations

(India).- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a committee to oversee that casino operators comply with municipal solid waste (MSW) rules, even as it noted that casino vessels cannot be held directly responsible for causing water pollution in the River Mandovi.

T

he NGT bench of Justice V R Kingaonkar and Dr Ajay A Deshpande constituted the committee "considering previous behaviour of casinos—it was observed that they did not treat sewage and garbage properly". 

The committee will comprise of the director, National Institute of Technology (NIT), Goa, or his nominee, a representative of the state environment department, director, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) or his nominee, captain of ports, and member secretary, Goa state pollution control board (GSPCB), the NGT observed.

It further observed that the committee shall "inspect the cruises at least once in four months and examine the management of sewage treatment, discharge of sewage/garbage, including operation of the STP at the bank of the River Mandovi and actual operation". A site inspection report will be submitted to the tribunal for each four-month period. 

The NGT has also directed casino operators to deposit Rs1lakh to meet the cost of incidental expenditure required for the committee's monitoring work. The amount is to be deposited within two months with the North Goa collector, who has been directed to submit the compliance report within two months. 

The NGT observed that the GSPCB status report shows that the cruisers have not yet complied with certain conditions like installation of proper DJ sets, installation of water meters, and installation of composting facility. It noted, that the solid waste is being disposed of at C-Farm, a piggery, but there is hardly any material to show there is appropriate solid waste management facility at the premises to deal with solid waste. 

"Considering these aspects, though we find that presently respondents 6 to 12 (casinos vessels) cannot be directly held responsible for causing water pollution, yet due to their previous acts of negligence, and before installation of proper facilities on the ships and at the bank of River Mandovi, the sewage and garbage was improperly treated by them," the order stated. 

Social activist SudipTamankar had moved the NGT against offshore casino vessels causing water pollution in the River Mandovi. 

The NGT observed that the applicant's main contention is about uncontrolled disposal of untreated sewage and solid waste into the river and its adverse impact on the ecology, including water quality. "Noting that the applicant is mainly relying on newspaper articles, we had asked the applicant to furnish specific reports, documents, or expert opinion regarding the pollution caused due to such recreational activities. The applicant has not submitted the same," the NGT bench observed.

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