Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (August 23, 2023)

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

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 24 August 2023

Update data on big cats: Uttarakhand HC

Uttarakhand High Court directed the state government to take steps to update the Conservation of Tiger and Associated Species in the Terai Arc Landscape data, which was prepared in 2004. 

Moreover, the court asked the government to report the status of the Tiger Conservation Plan for Rajaji Tiger Reserve before the next hearing on December 20, 2023.

The court was responding to a petition on August 17, 2023, which highlighted measures for improving the management of human-animal conflict in the state.

The petition drew the court’s attention to the best practices adopted by Annamalai, Sariska and Dudhwa Tiger Reserves as well as to the dashboard prepared by the state of Tamil Nadu and the website of Kerala. 

These websites are user-friendly tools that provide information to the public at large without pushing them to resort to the provisions of the Right to Information Act, the counsel for the petitioner said.

RK Sudhanshu, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, joined the proceedings virtually and said human-animal conflict in Uttarakhand has gone down by 61 per cent over the past year. He said the number and population density of leopards and tigers in the state is far in excess of those in other states.

The Tiger Conservation Plan for Rajaji Tiger Reserve is under preparation and the same should be ready in about two months, he said.

Waste management in Erode

Erode City Municipal Corporation has achieved the target of 100 per cent processing and disposal of wet, dry and construction and demolition waste, the municipal authorities informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on August 22.

Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, have been enforced and the authorities completed bio-mining in Vendipalayam and Vairapalayam dumping yards.

Currently, no solid and legacy waste is polluting the river Cauvery. Legacy waste of around 6 lakh cubic metres in the river bank of Cauvery at Vairapalayam has been cleared through bio-mining.

Felling of trees in Dada Seeba forest range

Forest officials have identified those felling and uprooting trees illegally in the rail beat area in the Dada Seeba forest range in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (HPSPCB) informed the NGT.

On recovering Khair tree logs from their possession, damage reports for illegal felling of trees have been chalked out. Compensation collected from the offenders has been deposited in the government treasury, according to a report by HPSPCB.

The department initiated further steps for compensatory afforestation and mass awareness. Regular group patrolling is being conducted in the Dadasiba range to protect the forest and wildlife from smugglers, the report added.

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