Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Constructions in ecologically sensitive coastal area
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on August 13, 2019 revamped a joint committee to look into the construction of parking lot for Hotel Sea Rock in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The parking lot and other constructions were falling in the ecologically sensitive coastal area in Mumbai, according to one Sonia Raj Sood.
The court had, in March, constituted a joint committee to investigate the matter and file a report. It comprised of representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA), Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) and Institute of Remote Sensing, Chennai.
However, Sood raised serious objections to the submitted report of the committee, especially on the matter pertaining to Bandra Fort and Hotel Sea Rock.
She contended that the report indicates that survey Nos 1153 and 1155 falls in CRZ-IB (Coastal Regulation Zone) category because it is between low tide line and high tide line areas. But, the NCZMA approved the plan for a parking lot on survey No 1155 for Hotel Sea Rock.
Further, Bandra Fort falls in the CRZ-I area, an ecologically sensitive area where no development is permitted, said Sood referring to a 1981-2001 development plan sanctioned by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
The committe will now have two additional representatives of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, preferably from Chennai and Delhi, to investigate the concerns raised by the applicant and file a report within two months, the NGT ordered.
Simar Port breakwater
The NGT on August 13 heard an appeal filed against Simar Port Pvt Ltd for the construction of 2800 metre breakwater.
The MoEF&CC had, in March, granted environment clearance (EC) and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for the project.
But, it was among one of the two phases for construction of Chhara Port.
While the projects were interlinked, Simar submitted separate proposals and separate Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.
The cumulative impact assessment of both the projects in addition to what had already been constructed has not been assessed. No public hearing was conducted.
The NGT directed notice to be issued to Simar, the MoEF&CC and the Gujarat Costal Management Authority returnable within three weeks.
Railways to pay 50 lakhs
The work of loading and unloading of highly inflammable material such as clinker, gypsum, cement at the Khori Railway Station in Rewari district of Haryana has been polluting the air and affecting the ecology of the area.
The CPCB had, in February, filed an inspection report suggesting measures to control the pollution, which the tribunal had ordered the railways to implement.
But many of the directions have not started yet, claimed an affidavit filed by the Haryana Pollution Control Board.
The NGT on August 14 directed the Railways to furnish a performance guarantee of an amount of Rs 50 Lakhs for completing all the works required to be done. The tribunal also asked senior divisional commissioner manager of north-west railways to be present on the next date of hearing.
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