Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
This is a roundup of the hearings uploaded on April 12
No manufacture of fireworks with barium substitute: SC
On April 11, the Supreme Court (SC) refused to grant permission to fireworks manufacturers to manufacture fireworks with a substitute of barium namely barium nitrate. This material is said to reduce pollution to the extent of about 25 to 30 per cent. The SC declined the request of the manufacturers saying the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO) is looking into the matter for the best formulation that may be permissible for the manufacture of firecrackers.
PESO has agreed to grant approval for new formulation fireworks by April 30, 2019. Upon approval, PESO has been asked to submit it to the Union government. The fireworks manufacturers can start to manufacture firecrackers in accordance with the new formulation after due permission from the concerned authorities.
SC reprimands tardy pace of construction of STPs to control Ulhas and Waldhuni river pollution
On April 10, the SC, after going, through the status report filed by the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, reprimanded the authorities at the lack of progress in the construction of STPs at Khadegolavali village near Ulhasnagar. As many as seven tenders have filed till now without any success. The eighth tender was issued on March 22, 2019, but no response has been received to it as well.
The apex court also stated that it found the work of diverting sewage from Ambikanagar tardy and directed the Secretary in the Maharashtra government’s Department of Environment to hold fortnightly meetings with the Commissioner of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation and with the Commissioners of other municipal corporations and authorities, on whose part, steps were required to be taken to ensure the setting up of facilities for the treatment of sewage.
NGT asks MoEF&CC to submit report on Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary
On April 9, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to submit a report which would decide whether the Hindustan Institute of Technology & Management, Agra and Anand Engineering College, Agra were within the Wildlife Sanctuary notified by the State of Uttar Pradesh as “Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary” vide Notification dated 27.03.1991 in District Agra, under Section 18 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. If they are within the sanctuary, restrictions under Section 27 would apply and the setting up of the said colleges itself might be questionable.
NGT informed about illegal sand mining activities at riverside plot at Khorjem, Curtorim
The Goa government has constituted a patrolling-cum-flying squad to monitor and crackdown on illegal sand mining activities in the state. Further, the South Goa district administration has conducted surprise checks of riverside plots at Khorjem, Curtorim, where illegal sand mining activities were suspected of being carried out and found that sand was illegally mined from the river bed and was being brought to the banks with the help of canoes and loaded into waiting trucks. These facts were brought to the notice of the NGT on April 10 which, in turn, directed the Chief Secretary to verify the facts and take necessary action.