Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (August 11, 2022)

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

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 12 August 2022

Wood cutting in Western UP

The role of a committee formed under the direction of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to look into wood-based industry in western Uttar Pradesh has come under scrutiny.

Wood-based units in Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur districts of Uttar Pradesh were using high-power engines to cut timber without obtaining a license from the forest department, an application filed by non-profit Uday Education and Welfare Trust stated.

A joint committee, constituted by the NGT order, March 23, 2022, skipped many vital facts in its report, the applicant added.

The committee inspected 12 units in Muzaffarnagar and 24 units in Saharanpur. From the report, it is clear that all the units used 26-32 horsepower chippers and cutters.

Such machinery requires a license from the forest department, the applicant pointed out.

The report did not state how and under which regulation these chipper machines were allowed to be operated, the applicant added.

None of the units obtained any machinery license from the forest department. Thus, these units should have been shut down immediately, but the committee did not take any action.

The joint committee report did not categorise the chipper machines under the category which required regulation.

It is also silent on the fact that machinery operating in the vicinity of the forest area violates the Supreme Court’s minimum distance restrictions, the applicants stated.

Unauthorised bridge amid Ganga

Sand miners have constructed an unauthorised bridge in the middle of the Ganga and it restricted the flow of the river, a committee formed by the NGT reported.

During the inspection, the committee found an approach road at the mining site in the mainstream area of the river Ganga.

The project proponent failed to submit monitoring reports of ambient air quality, water, flora and fauna, annual environmental statement and detailed replenishment study report to the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority.

They have not taken any significant measures for environmental safeguard and also not made any efforts to conduct activities under corporate social responsibility, the report noted.

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