Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (April 1, 2024)

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

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 02 April 2024

Preventive, remedial measures for the protection of Mussoorie

Places in Mussoorie affected by landslides and degraded slopes around the hill station have been selected for treatment, said the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board, in its report.

An action plan has been prepared, which includes creation of a nursery for soil-binding plants, assisted natural regeneration of degraded areas by planting oak saplings and jute geo-textile treatment for stabilising degraded slopes. 

The report was in compliance of orders dated July 26, 2023 and November 9, 2023 of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) following news story published in The Tribune January 16, 2023 titled Joshimath disaster a warning for Mussoorie.

Landslide treatment at 25th kilometre of NH 1 (Dehradun-Mussoorie state highway) has been proposed after topographical, geological and geotechnical investigations and duly approved by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

A detailed project report for Master Drainage Plan of Mussoorie town, Dehradun district, Uttarakhand will be prepared including three major tasks:

  • To carry out detailed drainage studies of stormwater of Mussoorie township
  • To prepare a sustainable proper Master Drainage Plan for Mussoorie township
  • To carry out isotope hydrological survey, geo-technical survey, geophysical survey and sub-surface percolation study, a letter has been sent to the director of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, December 16, 2023

A geological information satellite-based decision support system is being prepared through the Gati Shakti Portal by the Mussoorie-Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA). The major features are — slope analysis, disaster-prone area, geological report, forest area and private forest areas. 

In order to ascertain proper examination of existing buildings and retrofitting of structures along with technical auditing of multistorey buildings, MDDA has requested the Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee for the same.

The report of March 12, 2024 was uploaded to the NGT site April 1, 2024.

Conservation of River Damodar

The state of Jharkhand is taking all steps for the restoration and conservation of River Damodar, according to a report filed by the deputy commissioner of Dhanbad (District Ganga Committee) on March 30, 2024.

Damodar, a tributary of Ganga, flows through Jharkhand. Restoration of 28 waterbodies is proposed to be taken up in the Damodar river basin, the official noted. A total of 12 ponds were taken up for renovation for the year 2024. In addition, the construction of four check dams was taken up for 2024. 

An environmental compensation amount of Rs 4.37 crore has been recovered from industries for damages caused to River Damodar. The Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board is ensuring the restoration of the damage to the environment by levying the environment compensation against the violators as a punitive action. As many as 30,000 trees have been planted in a 10 kilometre stretch along Damodar and its tributaries by the Dhanbad Forest Division, the report said.

The report was in compliance with NGT orders passed September 18, 2023, February 5, 2023 and February 20, 2024. 

The NGT had directed the National Mission for Clean Ganga and concerned states — Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal — to take steps for preventing discharge of industrial effluents in Ganga and its tributaries / drains by ensuring installation of proper functioning of ETPs / CETPs. The tribunal had also directed for utilisation of treated sewage, use of sludge for manure and septage management and maintenance of e-flow.

Solid waste management in Bathinda

The Municipal Corporation of Bathinda is fully committed to comply with the provisions of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and protect and conserve the environment. All efforts are being made for scientific management of solid legacy waste at the JITF waste plant, stated the report filed on behalf of Punjab through district magistrate, Bathinda March 27, 2024.

The grievance of the applicant was regarding a fire incident on June 6, 2021 at the JITF waste plant. The applicant had submitted that the fire erupted from the large quantity of inflammable material lying in the open space at the dumpsite which shows that JITF is not processing the city waste as per agreement.

The work for laying pipeline for utilisation of treated waste water at the dumpsite has already been completed to avoid any incidence of fire at the dumpsite. The municipal corporation of Bathinda have permanently placed one fire tender at the dumpsite to avoid any further instance of fire apart from construction of a storage tank as well as laying of pipeline from STP to dumpsite.

A green belt of around 15 metres width has already been developed around the dumpsite to avoid the smell being spread around the area.

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