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NGT bans tyre burning in the open, re-use of tyres as fuel

 

Times of India, New Delhi, September 13, 2014

 The western zone bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has prohibited the burning of tyres in open areas and also the reuse of old tyres as fuel in industries and brick kilns. The bench has directed the environment department of the state government to take a decision on the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board's (MPCB) recommendations in eight weeks and issue necessary notification in two weeks thereafter. Burning of tyres in open areas, public places and localities, such as residential areas, schools, hospitals and offices, is prohibited, the bench observed while holding the police authorities, district administration and urban local bodies responsible for implementing the ban. Any defiance has to be treated as an offence under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant), it said.

 

The order was passed on a petition filed by city-based Sahyog Trust, which raised serious concerns over burning of tyres on human health. The petitioners also pointed out that tyre burning produces toxic smoke which is hazardous to the entire environment. "We want to put an end to the irresponsible behaviour of various political parties and religious groups who burn tyres as a mark of protest, thus, creating huge toxic smoke," said Asim Sarode, legal counsel for the petitioners. In a judgment passed on September 6, the bench headed by Justice V R Kingaonkar and expert member Ajay A Deshpande had directed the state's environment department and MPCB to conduct a scientific study on the life cycle of used tyres and frame suitable guidelines for their disposal in eight months.

 

We are of the opinion that there is an urgent need to have a systemic approach to deal with the problem of used tyre disposal. This is more evident from the submissions of the MPCB that out of 162 tyre remoulding industries, only 55 were registered with MPCB which shows that everything is not well in used tyre management, the order stated. The bench noted that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPBC) is encouraging the use of old tyres as fuel in cement, power and steel industry, but certain aspects such as the pollution potential, tyre generation data, technology options, techno-economic viability and social implications must be considered.