Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (November 3, 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 3, 2022)

No plastic sachets made in Andhra: PCB

No non-recyclable multi-layered plastic sachets, pouches or packaging producers exist in Andhra Pradesh, the state pollution control board (APPCB) said in a report to the National Green Tribunal November 2, 2022. 

Action will be taken against any such producer found operating without registration from APPCB as per the provisions of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, it submitted. 

Multi-layered packaging means any material used or to be used for packaging and having at least one layer of plastic was the main ingredient. This can be in combination with one or more layers of material such as paper, paper board, polymeric materials, metal layers and aluminium foil.

Urban local bodies have been instructed to send non-recyclable plastic waste to nearby cement plants. Around 19 ULBs have tied up with nearby cement plants and 920 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste is used for the construction of roads, it submitted.

Instructions were also issued to 41 ULBs that are within 100-kilometre radius of the waste-to-energy plants to send combustible dry waste to such plants.

Old diesel generator sets in Uttar Pradesh

Diesel generators that have been in use for more than 15 years need to be discarded and replaced by equipment that run on cleaner fuel, the NGT said in directions November 1, 2022. 

The court order was in response to an application filed by Satish Govind March 11, 2022. The plea talked about the violation of air quality norms by the operation of diesel generators by the management board of the Windsor Park Residents Welfare Association (WPRWA) at Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

The new equipment must comply with norms, including proper stack height, which has to be ensured by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the District Magistrate, Ghaziabad, the order added. 

The Windsor Park society has 12 towers of 10 to 23 floors, but the chimneys of all the DG sets end right above the DG sets, the petition said. All exhaust emissions are, thereby, released at the ground floor level. 

The chimneys are not extended to above the roof heights of the residential towers, the applicant said.

Solid waste management in Ludhiana

The Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana must focus on preventing landfill fires and remediation of its legacy waste, the NGT said in an order November 1, 2022. The Chief Secretary of Punjab would be held personally accountable for any continuing default.

Ludhiana currently has 3 million tonnes of legacy waste. The civic body also has to scientifically manage the current waste strictly following Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, the NGT added. 

Unnecessary entry of visitors and workers should also be stopped to prevent landfill fires, the order added. 

Proceedings in the matter were taken up in the light of a media reporting seven persons were charred to death in a fire at a garbage dump site at Tajpur road. Most of the deceased belonged to a ragpicker family who had been living near the landfill for the last ten years.

Bio-remediation work for 500,000 tonnes has been taken up while bio-remediation for the remaining 1.96 million tonnes is yet to take off, a September 21, 2022, report by the civic body said. A compensation of Rs 57.5 lakh has beeen deposited in a separate account for disbursement after the police inquiry is completed, it added. 

However, the NGT called the stand “untenable” and an “uncalled-for attempt of the Municipal Corporation” to link the disbursement of the compensation to the inquiry. 

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