The National Green Tribunal has rapped the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for "repeated defiance" on issuing a circular to airlines operating at the IGI Airport in Delhi to ensure that they do not empty toilet tanks midair.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel warned that if the order is not complied with by August 31, the salary of the Director General of Civil Aviation would be stopped. The green panel took strong objection that despite its specific order there was neither any valid explanation nor there was compliance by the aviation regulator on the issue.
The tribunal also warned that if there is "continued defiance" it may have to consider prosecution of the Director General on the next date.
The NGT directed that a copy of the order be sent by e-mail to the officer concerned and posted the matter for hearing on September 17. During the hearing, the DGCA told the bench that the order has not been complied till date because a review petition against the NGT's order was pending adjudication.
The DGCA had sought a stay and review of NGT's December 20, 2016 and the January 10 order of the tribunal claiming that it was impossible to dump human waste mid-air from aircraft toilet.
On October 2016, a Delhi resident, Lt Gen (retd) Satwant Singh Dahiya, had filed a case alleging that houses in his neighbourhood were damaged by faeces dumped by airlines from planes at night. Dahiya had moved the NGT alleging that faeces were splattered from aircraft on his South Delhi house before Diwali in 2016 after which the tribunal on December 20, 2016 had directed the DGCA to issue a circular to all airlines to pay Rs 50,000 as environmental compensation if their planes are found dumping waste midair.
The petition has referred to the findings of the expert committee, constituted by NGT, and said there is no switch or system available in the aircraft to dispose waste in flight. "The aircraft system has three level of in-built external protection for disposing the waste and under no circumstance release of waste during flight is possible and there has been no such resort ever by the operators.
"The modern day airline toilets are sealed and cannot be emptied in flight and toilet waste can only be disposed of by manual operation on ground during its servicing," the DGCA had said.