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Vidhi’s new documentary highlights the mounting problem of disposal of municipal waste in Delhi, the implementation of Solid Waste Management Rules 2016, and various judicial interventions. It will be screened online on 16 April, 2021 (Friday) at 5 pm (IST).

We are privileged to be joined by Justice Gita Mittal (Former Chief Justice, Jammu & Kashmir High Court), Ms Almitra Patel (Senior Environmental Activist and Petitioner in Supreme Court), and Ms Dia Mirza (Actor, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, UN Secretary General Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals, and global Ambassador IFAW) as our Guests of Honour. 

This film is the last of the five short documentaries, produced by Vidhi on key environmental issues in India under the project ‘Courting the Environment’. This is the culmination of a year-long research project tracking landmark judgments and orders on a wide range of issues such as the firecrackers ban in Delhi, industrial pollution in Patancheru (Telangana), the impact of dams in Uttarakhand, waste management in Delhi and protection of wildlife corridors around Kaziranga National Park (Assam). The documentaries have been produced in association with Riverbank Studios and have a prologue by Dia Mirza, veteran Bollywood actress and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador for India.

About the Documentary- ‘Garbage Matters’

The Supreme Court of India and the National Green Tribunal have intervened on several occasions to address the issue of mismanagement of Solid Waste in Delhi. The issue of Solid Waste Management (“SWM”) in Delhi was taken up by the Supreme Court in BL Wadehra v. Union of India (AIR 1996 SC 2969) and Almitra Patel v. Union of India {(1998) 2 SCC 416 B} which have had a profound, and long-standing implications on policies and laws related to the management of waste in the city of New Delhi.

In 1998, in Almitra Patel case, the Asim Burman Committee was formed, which eventually culminated in the formulation of the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000 (“MSW Rules”). Under the MSW Rules, the municipal bodies were given the responsibility of collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal of municipal solid wastes. They also introduced the possibility of engagement of private agencies for the above purposes in the waste-value chain.

In September, 2014, Almitra Patel v. Union of India (O.A. No. 199 of 2014) was transferred to the National Green Tribunal (“NGT”).  In 2016, Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 (“SWM Rules”) were introduced by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change which replaced the MSW Rules, 2000. These new rules were able to incorporate various new concepts that were overlooked in the previous rules. The NGT via its order in dated 22nd December 2016, issued extensive directions with respect to the implementation of these rules.

In this 20-minute-long documentary film, we have sought to explore the extent to which the rules have been implemented in pursuance of the courts’ orders and the systemic issues that lay at the heart of non-implementation of court orders. Through the documentary, we will be seeking to explore the manner in which, and the extent to which courts can be effective in enforcing the rule of law through monitoring of stakeholders in courts.

The schedule of the event is as follows:

5.00 pmIntroduction to the film series – Courting the Environment

5.10 pm – Screening of the film – Garbage Matters

5.30 pm – Public Address by Justice Gita Mittal (Former Chief Justice, Jammu & Kashmir High Court)

5.45 pm – Public Address by Ms Almitra Patel (Senior Environmental Activist and Petitioner in Supreme Court case)

6.00 pm – Public Address by Ms Dia Mirza (Actor, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, UN Secretary-General Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals, and Global Ambassador-IFAW)

6.15 pm – Moderated Discussion

6.30 pm – Vote of Thanks

Please register here.