Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Poor progress to curtail illegal mining in Aravallis: SC
The Supreme Court on February 4 expressed its displeasure with the Rajasthan government for not completing the ground assessment to find out the area of illegal mining in the Aravallis. The SC noted that on 29/10/2018 the Court was informed that 27% ground truthing had been completed and the remaining was in process. But even after three months only 31% of the ground truthing has been completed. The SC while calling the progress report highly unsatisfactory ordered the Chief Secretary of Rajasthan to be personally present in Court to explain the delay.
NGT reprimands Salem Municipal Corporation for failure to check effluents
The National Green Tribunal on February 4 directed Salem Municipal Corporation to deposit an interim compensation of Rs 25 lakh with the CPCB for its failure to check discharge of effluents by the industries as well as municipal sewage into Thirumanimuthar River. The Corporation would also furnish a Performance Guarantee in the sum of Rs 50 lakh to the effect that the untreated effluents will not be discharged and necessary steps to prevent such discharge will be taken positively within three month failing which the amount of Performance Guarantee will be forfeited.
Polluting industries in Delhi to be closed down expeditiously: SC
The 50th Progress Report of the Monitoring Committee on the relocation of industries in Delhi was submitted before the Supreme Court on February 4. The report mentions that in the first step, 21,960 industrial units were closed down and water and electricity supply has been disconnected with respect of them. However, in the second step, 30,000 similar units have been closed down, but water and electricity supply are yet to be disconnected. SC gave National Capital Territory of Delhi four weeks’ time to disconnect the water and electricity supply. Counsel appearing for the Municipal Corporations has submitted that there are prayers to temporarily de-seal the units to permit the persons who were running these units to take away the equipments lying in the premises. Court orders that in the cases where water and electricity has already been disconnected, the premises may be opened temporarily for 48 hours for taking away the equipments and sealed again after 48 hours and no operation takes place.
NGT asks polluting industries in Ambapada and Mahul to submit an action plan
The National Green Tribunal on February 5 ordered the polluting industries of Ambapada and Mahul to submit an integrated action plan to the CPCB and a Performance Guarantee to comply with such an action plan. The CPCB would determine the amount to be paid for the damage to the air quality caused so far on account of failure to take adequate measures, inspite of orders passed by the Tribunal more than three years back. The issue relates to air pollution in the outskirts of Mumbai affecting inhabitants of the area, particularly at villages Ambapada and Mahul since 2007 on account of business of logistic services, storing oil, gas and chemical items as well as oil companies doing similar activities.
SC asks West Bengal to stop all constructions within CRZ-1 area of Sunderbans
The National Green Tribunal on February 5 ordered the West Bengal Government to stop all constructions within the CRZ-1 area or protected sanctuary area of the Sunderbans till further orders. Supplementary affidavit filed by Subhas Datta, Amicus Curiae, has brought to the fore the large number of constructions within the CRZ-I area at Bakhkhali, Henry Island and at Manmathanagar, Gosaba block of the Sunderbans. Court has been informed that the illegally constructed Godkhali Tourist Lodge was being converted into desalination plant and the work in respect of that was in an advanced stage.
SC: Ensure mandatory linking of PUC with vehicle insurance
The Supreme Court on February 4 was hearing a case on the possible solutions to ensure that Delhi-NCR achieves 100% insurance and Pollution Under Control Certificates (PUC) compliance. EPCA had submitted its minutes of meeting for NCR region before SC which included: a) Insurance companies shall share the details of vehicles issued insurance with Transport Department which shall then issue notices to vehicle owners not having valid PUC. b) MoRTH to issue public notice/advertisements that PUC certificate is mandatory for vehicle insurance. c) MoRTH to provide link for insurance companies to update the information on PUC status (checked/declaration obtained) along with the vehicle insurance details. Apex Court directs that the suggestions by EPCA be worked out on a trial basis and report submitted within six months.
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