Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on August 4, 2020, asked the the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to direct all state boards and local bodies to continue to monitor compliance of its July 11, 2017 order.
The order had prohibited the manufacture, sale, storage, purchase and use of thread made with nylon, synthetic material or coated with synthetic substances, for kite flying. The tribunal had cited its adverse impact on wildlife and human health as the reason for the prohibition.
The direction was to be enforced by the chief secretaries of all the states / Union territories through the respective district administrations.
The tribunal had sought a report about the status of compliance from the CPCB. The Board, in its compliance report submitted on August 4, had mentioned that all states had given the status of compliance except Assam, Jharkhand, Kerala, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and the Union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli.
Solid waste plant
The municipal council of Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh filed its report before the NGT regarding the alleged mismanagement of waste in Dughneri village.
An application had been filed in the NGT that complained of the violation of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 in Dughneri. The reason cited was failure to handle waste that was being burnt.
This had resulted in diseases, loss of livestock, forest fires and loss of wildlife. There was an increase in the population of monkeys, feral dogs and scavengers like crows, vultures, etc. A landfill in the village was overflowing and contaminating the local water body, that was a source of irrigation.
The NGT had directed the deputy commissioner of Hamirpur, the municipal council of Hamirpur and the Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (HPSPCB) to submit a report within one month on the matter.
The council, in its report, stated that it had not violated any of the norms as prescribed under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, or the Environment Protection Act, 1986. The broad allegations in the original application was that due to the existing solid waste treatment plant (SWTP), a lot of garbage and waste was thrown in the open, resulting in flies, crows, eagles, dogs and monkeys hovering around the garbage.
The council had refuted the allegation that waste dumped at the SWTP plant was being burnt daily and smoke consequently engulfed the village. The report said that “there has not been any frequent incidents of fire at the SWT plant as alleged and the waste at SWT plant was not mixing with the Hathli Khad water body.”
The report noted that ambient air monitoring at the SWTP had been conducted by the HPSPCB on October 1, 2019, and the analysis results were within prescribed limits. The HPSPCB had been regularly monitoring the water quality of the Kunah Khad, after its confluence with the Hathli Khad and before its confluence with the Beas on a monthly basis and analysis results were within prescribed limits, the report added.
The report was uploaded to the NGT site on August 10, 2020.
The NGT, on August 7, directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to file its response within one month on the allegation of concretisation around trees in Sanjay Lake park near Mayur Vihar.
The court had directed the DDA and the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) on January 14, to file an action taken report on the matter of pollution in Sanjay Lake and Sanjay Lake Park and concretisation around trees.
No response was filed by the DDA. The response filed by the DTTDC was that no pollution was being caused due to boat operations in the lake.
llegal groundwater extraction
The NGT expressed its satisfaction at the action taken report filed by the Delhi Jal Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on the illegal extraction of groundwater in Jagatpur village near Yamuna biodiversity park for sale through tankers.
A report was filed by Delhi Jal Board on December 18, 2019, and by the DPCC on January 14, followed by another report on July 30. The tribunal was informed that remedial actions had been taken and in view of this, the application was disposed of by the NGT.
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