Coming to the rescue of deer and blackbucks at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) campus, the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed the IIT-M management to clean up the garbage, dumped on their campus, within a week.Deer feed on garbage on the campus (File photo) Chennai: A bench, comprising Justice MS Nambiar and Expert Member P S Rao, offered the interim direction on Tuesday, based on a plea moved by activist Antony Rubin seeking to ban the use of non-recyclable plastics on campus and shift the cultural fests to an alternative location. Noting that since around 220 deer and eight blackbucks have died between 2014-2016, it directed Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to inspect the campus to ascertain the current situation.
The bench also held that since blackbucks are a critically endangered species, the court warned IIT-M that the ‘polluter pays’ principle will be imposed, if any violations were found.
Citing an RTI report which revealed the damage caused to the deer and blackbucks on the campus, the petitioner had sought the green tribunal for a direction to tackle the issue of solid waste, including plastic, dumped on the campus, posing a threat to the deer population and the endangered blackbuck species.
Rubin told DTNext that the move is a welcome one. “We have seen plastic trash littering various parts of the campus, which invites stray dogs into the institution. These dog attacks too have contributed to deer/blackbuck death. If the IIT-M campus manages solid waste better, ensuring that it is litter-free, there will be no food source for the dogs, who will automatically leave the locality. In addition, there are many fests being conducted within the campus, with high noise levels, that can disturb the animals which live in this ecologically sensitive zone,” he added.
The case has been posted for further hearing to December 13.