Environment

Court Digest: Major environment hearings of the week (September 2-6)

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: Sunday 08 September 2019
Photo: GettyImages
Photo: GettyImages Photo: GettyImages

Assess parking needs for 25 years: SC

There has been an “abject failure on the part of the government and the authorities to provide adequate public transport to the citizens of the country. Individual vehicles are owned by about 2 per cent of the population. However, this 2 pert cent of the population wants to monopolise all the resources and infrastructure with regard to transportation,” the Supreme Court (SC) observed while passing an order on parking. 

Proper assessment of parking needs and the requisite parking facilities for the next 25 years should be taken into consideration while granting permission to build any structures, the SC directed the Government of Delhi in its order of September 2, 2019. Further, the municipal corporations of Delhi were asked to ensure the pavements were cleared of all encroachments.  

Shut down Barmer textile units: NGT

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on September 4, 2019 directed the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) to revoke consent to operate and permissions under the Air Act and Water Act to 23 textile industries at Gandhipura, Balotra in Barmer District. The board was asked to ensure they do not function in non-conforming area anymore.

The regional manager of Rajasthan State Industrial Development & Investment Corporation Ltd (Riico) at Balotra has to place before NGT the complete information and record with regard to another cluster of industries in nonconforming area operating at Bituja on the September 23, the next date of hearing. 

The NGT was informed that out of 23 industrial units at Gandhipura, only eight have not been allotted plots in Industrial Area, Phase IV as they did not apply for. They functioned in the non-conforming area despite there being alternative sites.

The High Court of Rajasthan's Jodhpur bench on March 9, 2004 had directed Riico to set up an industrial area for textile units, located at an appropriate distance from residential areas. The units were to be shifted there within six months.

MIDC fined Rs cr for Taloja pollution

The NGT on September 3, 2019 directed Maharashtra Industrial Development Corp (MIDC) to deposit an additional Rs 5 crore for failing to contain pollution in the Taloja industrial area on the outskirts of Mumbai. The NGT said even though the operation of common effluent treatment plant (CETP) was taken over by the MIDC on November 2018, pollution was unabated. Untreated industrial effluents were being discharged in a water body, damaging the eco-system and health of inhabitants. 

If the remaining compensation (as ordered earlier) and the current amount was not deposited by September 30, 2019, the “salary of CEO, MIDC, Deputy CEO (Environment), MIDC and Member Secretary, MPCB be stopped till compliance.” A further compliance report has to be filed by the chief executive of MIDC and member-secretary of the state PCB by October 15. The monitoring committee was also asked to file its final report by the same date.

Jharkhand buildings lack EC 

The NGT on September 2, 2019 directed the constitution of a joint committee to look into the allegations of non-implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006 in the state of Jharkhand in respect of building constructions. 

The committee will comprise representative of the regional office of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) at Bhubaneswar and representative of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Jharkahand.

The application stated that Jharkhand has undertaken various major constructions of buildings, particularly in the cities of Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Deogarh, without mandatory prior environmental clearances (mandated by the EIA) even when “it is mandatory in respect of structures having more than 20,000 Sq Ms.”

Buildings such as the Jharkhand High Court Building; Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha; P&M Hi-Tech City Centre Mall, Jamshedpur; Vijaya Garden Homes and Aastha Twin City lack ECs. Only 20 buildings and construction projects have applied for ECs since 2006, according to data obtained through Right to Information.

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