Court Digest: Major environment hearings of the week (January 5-10, 2020)

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

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Saturday 11 January 2020

Air pollution in Kerala

The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on January 6, 2020 directed the formation of a joint committee to look into the question of ambient air quality in Kerala, especially in the cities of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kochi, Alappuzha, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Kasargod and Kannur and the sources of pollution.

Ship breaking impact on environment

The NGT on January 8 directed the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to pay an amount of Rs 70 lakh to the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa. The amount would be used to conduct environmental audit of ship breaking yards by the NIO.

Maharashtra tiger corridors 

The NGT in a January 6 order directed the National Tiger Conservation Authority to modify its action plan to reduce the time taken in wildlife-protection measures.

The Tribunal was looking into the matter of new road projects obstructing tiger corridors in Maharashtra. The plan would be binding on the project proponents “irrespective of their consent and may be enforced by halting the projects wherever necessary till the suggested measures are duly adopted.”

Mine reclamation

The Supreme Court on January 8, 2020 directed that mining areas be restored so that grass and other vegetation including trees can grow back in them for the benefit of animals.


The NGT on January 7, 2020 expressed displeasure at reports filed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on compliance of waste management and other issues in different states and Union Territories as earlier ordered.

Buildings in Jharkhand lack EC

The NGT on January 6 directed the MoEF&CC to look into the construction of buildings in Jharkhand that have been allegedly built without mandatory Environmental Clearance. The structures pertain to the various municipal corporations, municipal councils and municipal panchayat areas of the state.

Sand mining in Bihar

The NGT on January 6 imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 each on the district magistrates of Jamui and Lakhisarai and the member secretary of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board for their failure to carry out orders of the Tribunal ensuring that no further sand mining operation took place in the state.

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