Court digest: Major environment hearings of the week (Jan 21-25)

Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

CPCB can utilise 25% of environmental compensation fund: NGT

The National Green Tribunal on January 23 gave the Central Pollution Control Board the go ahead to proceed with the proposal for utilisation of 25 per cent of environmental compensation fund. According to CPCB, a separate dedicated account has been maintained to receive the amount of environmental compensation and as on 31/12/2018 an amount of about Rs 48.83 crore is with CPCB which has been proposed to be spent on development of infrastructure for air and water quality surveillance and monitoring for different locations in Delhi-NCR and other needed places.

NGT asks Uttarakhand SPCB criteria for assessing compensation for environmental damage

The State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) of Uttarakhand was directed by NGT on January 24 to furnish the criteria being followed in assessing the compensation for damage to the environment. The court was hearing the case of illegal mining along Song River, Suswa River and Jakhan River at Doiwala, District Dehradun in Uttarakhand. The report submitted by a Joint Committee of SPCB and the District Collector, Dehradun shows that mining is being carried out through two government agencies: Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation (UFDC) and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (GMVN). However, the said two agencies have further hired contractors. It is also stated that process of Environmental Clearance is pending and illegal mining is being regulated by GMVN. Further during 2018-19, 146 matters of illegal mining, storage and transportation were found.

NGT could seek information on carmakers in India, SC citing Volkswagen case

The Supreme Court on January 21 asked the National Green Tribunal not to impose any punitive measures against the automaker Volkswagen for delay in depositing the penalty of Rs 100 crores. The penalty was imposed by NGT on the automaker for violating vehicular emission norms. The Apex Court left it open to the Tribunal to consider whether it is necessary or desirable to widen the scope of the enquiry and to seek information on whether any other manufacturer of vehicles is similarly situated, so as to warrant a regulatory enquiry.

Examine the feasibility of proposals for CEPMIZ in Karnataka: SC

The Supreme Court on January 24 while hearing the case between Samaj Parivartana Samudaya & Others Vs State of Karnataka & Others directed Shyam Divan, amicus curiae to examine the feasibility of the approval of proposals submitted by the Karnataka with regard to Comprehensive Environmental Plan for Mining Impact Zone (CEPMIZ).

Polluters to remediate the river stretches along Periyar: NGT

The National Green Tribunal on January 21 was hearing the petition of Shibu Manuel, secretary of the Eloor-based Green Action Force seeking direction for zero discharge of industrial sludge on the river Periyar and to clean Kuzhikandam Thodu, Panachithodu, Pallipuramchal and Unthithodu, which are small streams meeting the river Periyar. The Tribunal ordered a CPCB supervised committee to prepare an action plan for the remediation and in the first phase use the available funds in a time bound manner. The remaining amount will be recovered by identifying the polluters and recovering the amount from them in appropriate proportion.

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