Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Pollution in Kondli irrigation canal
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on July 30, 2019 ordered that the East Delhi Municipal Corp (EDMC), Delhi Jal Board (DJB), the Noida authority and the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam pay a performance guarantee of Rs 1 crore each to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for polluting irrigation canal at Kondli village in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida. Also, the undertaking will be to take remedial actions, failing which the amount would be forfeited, the NGT ordered.
Untreated sewage was discharged in the irrigation canal in violation of the provisions of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
A report furnished by the Noida authority and the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) stated that the Kondli drain was not connected to any river or canal before meeting Yamuna.
UPPCB’s counsel said since pollution is originating from Delhi, the DJB and EDMC are liable to pay environmental compensation in the same way as Noida Authority and Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam.
No construction without green clearance: NGT on Kerala project
The NGT, while hearing a case against a builder on July 30, 2019 for wrongfully obtaining environmental clearance, said the appraisal may proceed in accordance with law but without clearance no further construction can be permitted.
The case is against M/s Draganstone Realty Pvt Ltd in Kerala for obtaining the clearance for a construction project by concealing facts about the actual built up area. Report from State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) showed that EC was granted on June 2018, which has expired and the new application is still pending.
The NGT also ordered that a joint status report be prepared by representatives from the CPCB, Regional Office, Chennai and State PCB on the status of the project.
Study on brick kilns unsatisfactory
The tribunal on July 30, 2019 found the report filed by CPCB on brick kilns’ operation in non-NCR area without any study on the impact in the air quality and without safeguards unsatisfactory. The case is against the director of Food, Civil supplies and Consumers Affairs for allowing the operation.
The tribunal, in its order on April 30, had asked the CPCB and Haryana government “to undertake a study on air quality carrying capacity assessment and impact of operation of the conventional brick kilns using agri-residue”. The CPCB has sought more time to file a proper report.
Unauthorised construction in Haridwar forest division
The NGT on July 30, 2019 ordered an oversight committee to file a final report on eviction and removal of illegal construction from Haridwar Forest Division in Shyampur Range of Uttarakhand by November 30.
A large-scale construction is on without any clearance near Chandi Block, Shyampur Range, Shivalik Elephant Reserve and its adjoining Rajaji National Park and Tiger Reserve, which are wildlife habitats within 100 meters of river Ganga.
The NGT had, on August 24, 2018, directed the forest department and the district administration to take necessary steps to remove the illegal construction and form an oversight committee. The committee’s last reported that some encroachments have been removed, no new ones have come up and the remaining eviction process will be completed within three months.
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