Environment

Court digest: Major environment hearings of the week (April 15-19)

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

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Monday 22 April 2019
Photo: Getty Images

Investment of Rs 26 crore needed for silvicultural felling programme in Himachal: SC told 

The two member bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta of the Supreme Court (SC) on April 15 was informed by Himachal Pradesh state government that there is no difficulty in accepting around 24 recommendations made by a committee on silviculture felling of trees. 

The SC order in the matter mentions “the monitoring committee has estimated that about Rs 1.25 lakh per hectare (ha) is likely to be spent on all forests under experimental silvicultural felling programme, meaning an investment of about Rs 26 crore on 68 forests spread over 2,054 ha of area for 100% enumerations, silviculture markings, fencing and other required interventions for ensuring regeneration.” 

The apex court also permitted ongoing projects of public importance owned and managed by the state government to be completed, including schools, minor irrigation canals, tanks and other minor water bodies. 

NGT slams officials for failure to tackle untreated sewage flowing in open drains of Ghaziabad 

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on April 15 was hearing an application filed by Avantika Residents Welfare Association calling for remedial action against untreated sewage being thrown in open drains in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. An affidavit filed by the Municipal Corporation, Ghaziabad, admits to the fact of untreated sewage flowing in open drains.

Further, the Tribunal was informed that on directions of the Commissioner (Meerut Division), the Developer M/s Ansal Housing and Construction Limited was asked to set up a sewage treatment plant (STP), failing which a sum of Rs 1 crore was to be recovered from the said company.

Following the Tribunal’s order, a letter was written to the developer to deposit Rs 8.27 crore with the Nagar Nigam to set up an STP. The NGT, now, expressed its displeasure at the “total failure of responsibility by the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board as well as Municipal Corporation, Ghaziabad”, and said mere issuance of notice is not an end of responsibility when damage to environment is continuing without effective, preventive and punitive action. It directed the Additional Municipal Commissioner, Ghaziabad, to remain present in person and showcause why he should not be proceeded against for failure, unless appropriate further action is taken and report filed before the next date of hearing. 

Delhi High Court allows Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy, but with conditions 

The Delhi High Court (HC) on April 15 allowed Aditya Bhatia (petitioner) to avail Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy being provided by Nutech Mediworld, subject to the clinic in question submitting all the information about the treatment being afforded to the petitioner to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSO). The authority concerned shall examine whether the said treatment or the products being administered to the petitioner, fall within the scope of the expression ‘New Drugs’ as defined under Rule 2(1)(w) of New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019, and communicate its view to the petitioner and the said clinic. 

The petitioner had submitted before the HC that he is suffering from Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD), and there is no other cure for the said condition. In these circumstances, he had approached Nutech Mediworld knowing fully well that the therapy may not be a recognised therapy, and the products being administered may not have the approval of the authority concerned. 

NGT receives complaint on power plant causing fly ash pollution 

The chairperson of the NGT, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, on April 16 directed the District Magistrate, Muzzafarpur, and Bihar State Pollution Control Board to look into the complaint of pollution being caused by fly ash dump set up by the thermal power plant in Kanti Nagar village of Muzaffarpur — causing damage to health and ecology in the area. 

The Tribunal gave the authorities concerned two months time to take appropriate action in accordance with law and submit a factual and action taken report. 

Look into illegal sand mining in river Jambhira: NGT 

The NGT on April 16 was hearing the case of illegal sand mining and transportation, causing air pollution and damage to River Jambhira and River Muradi in Morad Tehsil, Odisha. The Tribunal directed the District Magistrate, Morad, to look into the matter, take appropriate action in accordance with law and furnish a factual and action taken report in the matter within two months. 

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