The National Green Tribunal imposed fines amounting to Rs 79,098 crore on states and Union Territories for violating municipal solid waste management and other environmental rules in 2022–23, the Centre told Parliament on Thursday.

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, the minister of the state Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change, told the Rajya Sabha that Tamil Nadu was fined the highest amount at Rs 15,419 crore, followed by Maharashtra at Rs 12,000 crore and Madhya Pradesh at Rs 9,688 crore.

However, Choubey did not present any data on how much of these penalties have so far been recouped by the Centre or at the state-level. He also did not mention the number of instances in which the National Green Tribunal’s orders have been stayed by higher courts.

The tribunal also imposed fines of Rs 5,000 crore on Uttar Pradesh, Rs 4,000 crore on Bihar and Rs 3,800 crore on Telangana.

The minister also said that the Central Pollution Control Board identified 311 polluted stretches on 279 rivers in 30 states and Union Territories in 2019 and 2021. The year 2020 was excluded owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The board also monitors air quality through a network of 1,447 ambient air quality monitoring stations in 516 cities across 28 states and seven Union Territories, Choubey told the Rajya Sabha.