Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Sone river mining
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on July 29, 2019 directed Bihar's State Environment Impact Assessment Authority, Department of Geology and Mining, State Pollution Control Board and the district magistrate of Bhojpur to jointly inspect the bed of Sone river in Bhojpur and verify whether illegal sand mining was taking place or not.
It had been alleged that sand had been excavated at many places on the river bed by digging up to a depth of 50 feet, against the permissible depth of three metres, resulting in reduction of groundwater levels in the nearby area.
If the allegations were proved to be correct, appropriate action would have to be taken against the illegal miners, the NGT said.
Clean-up of Tarapith
The NGT on July 29, 2019 expressed its concern at the delay in construction of a sewage treatment plant (STP) for Tarapith town in West Bengal's Birbhum district to make the Dwarka river pollution-free.
The NGT directed the state government and the district magistrate of Birbhum to ensure that the work was completed in six months. Further, the Public Health Engineering Department and the district magistrate were asked to submit a report of compliance after six months.
The magistrate had informed the tribunal that a garbage clearance agency had been appointed for collection of waste material from the periphery of the Maa Tara Temple and both sides of the Dwarka where hotels, guest houses and shops are situated.
Groundwater withdrawal by tankers
The NGT on July 31, 2019 dismissed an application by environmentalist Vikrant Tongad about illegal tankers withdrawing groundwater in Delhi.
Tongad had alleged that while 900 water tankers were being operated by the Delhi Jal Board, twice that number were being operated by private unregistered contractors without any permission or No Objection Certificates.
While dismissing the application, the NGT said the petition did not present any material in support of the allegation that illegal tankers were operating.
Kangra factory pollution
The NGT on July 31, 2019 ruled that the M/s ID Sood Ispat's steel factory was being illegally operated at Kandrori in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district and was polluting the ground water with fine iron particles.
The court was responding to the application filed by the Sheikhupur Panchayat of Bain Attrain village.
It directed the Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board to look into the matter, take appropriate action and furnish a factual and action-taken report within a month.
Mobile tower near hospital
The NGT on July 29, 2019 directed the district magistrate of Katihar and the Bihar State Pollution Control Board to jointly inspect Lalkothi Road in Katihar, where a mobile phone tower had allegedly been installed at a distance of about 50 metres from schools and a hospital in contravention of government rules.
If the allegation is found to be true, appropriate steps must be taken, the NGT said.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.