A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar sought the response of the Horticulture Department of Central Public Works Department (CPWD) by July 13, which has engaged its gardener at Jagdambika Pal's 12 Teen Murti Marg bungalow.

The directions came after New Delhi Municipal Council's (NDMC) lawyer told the bench that a gardener (mali), Ayodhya Prasad, was found burning leaves in the bungalow premises. "When he was asked to pay compensation in terms of Section 15 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 under the principle of 'polluter pays', he refused to obey the orders," advocate Sakshi Popli, appearing for NDMC, said.

Taking note of the incident, the green panel directed the Horticulture Department to provide for composting pits to deposit leaves collected from the Lutyens' Zone area. "Officer in charge of the department shall ensure that leaves are not burnt, collected every alternate day and brought to the composting pit. The manure produced shall be used by horticulture department," the bench said.

The Tribunal also directed NDMC to inspect and check whether the composting pits were functional or not. It also ordered the municipal body to submit photographs of the composting pits. Earlier, NDMC had imposed fine of Rs 5,000 on an employee of Meghalaya House who was found burning leaves.

The Tribunal had last month pulled up the civic body over its failure to check waste burning in Lodhi Garden and asked it to be more vigilant and careful in future. Tightening its vigil on incidents of waste burning in Delhi-NCR, the Tribunal has imposed a complete ban on burning of waste in open including garbage, leaves, plastic and crop residues while announcing a fine of Rs 5,000 on the violators.

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