Court digest: Major environment hearings of the week (May 20-24)

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: Saturday 25 May 2019
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

Untreated sewage dumped into river Panchganga 

Pollution of Rankala Lake at Kolhapur by dumping of sewage from Kolhapur city and from other points as well as pollution of Panchganga river came up for hearing before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 22, 2019 

An officer from the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation informed the tribunal "that out of 12 nallas (drains) only 2 nallas, have been taped and 21 MLD/day untreated sewage is still being discharged into the river."  

The NGT, while calling the situation serious and unsatisfactory as it has been pending before the Tribunal for more than four years, directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to take steps to prevent discharge of any polluting effluents into the lake and in the river; and to take action against any person responsible for such discharge and submit a report. 

Despite ban, purse seine nets still in use  

Use of purse seine and mini purse seine nets in the course of fishing are having adverse impact on the marine life and also on environment friendly fishing by small fishermen, and inspite of notifications like the Maharashtra Marine Fishing Regulation Act 1981 prohibiting purse seine gear by mechanised fishing vessels the same is not being implemented.  

The issue was raised in the application filed by the Sindhudurg Jilla Shramajivi Rapan Machchimar Sangh before the NGT on May 22, 2019. The tribunal directed the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Maharashtra, to furnish a report about status of compliance of the notifications within one month. 

Bum-Rukn-ud-Dowla lake encroachment removed 

Dumping of waste and sewage, and encroachment of Bum-Rukn-ud-Dowla — a historic heritage water body of around 104 acres, opposite National Police Academy, Shivrampally, Hyderabad — came up  for hearing before the NGT on May 21, 2019 

The report furnished by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) states that encroachments have been removed and demarcation of the boundary of the lake has been done. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation is planning treatment and remediation in consultation National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). 

In view of the above, the NGT directed that further steps be taken and a report be furnished by the secretary, urban development department, Telangana, within two months. 

Submit report on pollution mitigation measures around IGI airport: NGT 

The Airport Authority of India and the Delhi International Airport Limited on May 21, 2019 were directed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to file an action taken report within one month on mitigating measures to reduce noise pollution around Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. 

The measures include an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) report on construction of sound barriers and provision of a green belt around the boundary wall of the IGI airport. 

An advisory should be issued to all the airlines landing at the IGI airport runway and the domestic airport to reduce noise levels. Further, the coaches, buses and other vehicles plying at the airport should be CNG; while non-CNG buses and other vehicles plying at the airport should be converted to CNG within six months. 

The tribunal was hearing a plea, filed by the Society for Protection of Culture, Heritage, Environment, Traditions and Promotion of National Awareness, seeking enforcement of its earlier order dated 24.11.2017. 

Compliance of environmental norms by Ferro Build Hards to be monitored 

The NGT on May 21, 2019 directed that the Central Pollution Control Board and Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) submit a joint report on the status of compliance of environmental norms by Ferro Build Hards, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, particularly in view of the fact that it is located in the flood plains of river Yamuna and in the vicinity of habitation. 

The UPPCB had justified the authorisation on the ground that very few common bio-medical waste treatment facilities are available in the area. 

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