Governing solid waste management
- The Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 prohibit the throwing, burning or burying of solid waste in public spaces, drains or water bodies. They provide for segregation of waste at source :
"Every waste generator shall… segregate and store the waste generated by them in three separate streams namely bio-degradable, non biodegradable and domestic hazardous wastes in suitable bins and handover segregated wastes to authorised waste pickers or waste collectors as per the direction or notification by the local authorities from time to time."
and for door-to-door collection of segregated waste from all households and non-residential units by local authorities and village panchayats. Local bodies should impose a user fee on all waste generators.
- Citizens may use the Right to Information Act to find out how far these rules are being applied by their local government and file a Public Interest Litigation to obtain a court order for their application.
- The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 only limits the powers of State governments to divert forest land for non-forest purposes. Given the precarious situation of indigenous, forest dwelling tribes, a big step forward was taken in 2006 with the enactment of The Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers (recognition of forest rights) Act that guarantees them the right to hold and live on forest land, to use forest produce, to protect and regenerate any community forest resource. It also allows for felling of a few trees per hectare for creation of community assets.