Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (November 10, 2022)

Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (November 10, 2022)

Overflowing of river Ghaggar

The governments of Punjab and Haryana should take measures to tackle the problem of floods due to the overflowing of river Ghaggar, reiterated the Supreme Court (SC) November 9, 2022.

The court had asked these governments to act on the same in its previous order August 17.

The previous order asked these governments to take steps in a time-bound manner in line with the recommendations of the final model study report by Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune.

But the states failed to implement the court’s order. “It is very unfortunate that despite the aforesaid specific directions, the respective states have not responded in true spirit,” the court said.

The river’s annual flooding has impacted farmlands and people’s properties in more than 25 villages in the two states. The SC directed the chief secretaries of these states to appear before the court November 15, 2022.

The SC also directed the state governments to file a status report based on the apex court’s August 8 order.

Management of biomedical wastes

Most nursing stations in Ravindra Nath Tagore Medical College, Udaipur, lack mechanisms to segregate biomedical wastes (BMW), stated a joint committee in its report to the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The lack of segregation practices results in mixing hospital wastes with other wastes, added the report submitted November 10, 2022.

The joint committee was constituted in response to a petition alleging violation of the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules by a common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facility at Ravindra Nath Tagore Medical College.

The petitioner alleged that more than half of the waste is not treated and is dumped at the Udaipur municipality-owned Balicha dumping ground.

The facility’s capacity to treat biomedical waste falls far below the amount that is generated, he added.

It is very difficult to trace the source of biomedical waste dumped at Balicha ground since these health facilities are yet to adopt the bar code system for waste tracking, the joint committee report stated.

Medical wastes from households are also dumped in the same ground, it added.

The hospital has an isolated, centralised bio-medical waste storage facility. Biomedical and municipal solid wastes are stored separately in the same facility, which can lead to the interchanging of the same, the report added.

Disposal of carcasses

Hanumangarh municipal council should establish a carcass processing plant in line with the guidelines laid by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the same, stated the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board, in its report to the NGT.

The tribunal ordered the constitution of the committee September 14, in response to an application.

The report added that animal carcasses should be disposed of using deep burial techniques until the plant’s commissioning.

The municipal council is using the site to dispose of dead animals. “A few hoofs, horns and skeletons of dead animals were found at the site during the visit,” the report added.

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