Environment

Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (February 12, 2020)

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
Last Updated: Wednesday 12 February 2020

Plastic waste management in Madhya Pradesh

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on February 11, 2020 directed the Madhya Pradesh government to abide by and comply with the directions given in its order of December 6, 2019, on plastic waste and the steps needed to be taken for its disposal in the state.

The 2019 order had given detailed and elaborate directions which called for:

  • A national framework for extended producers liability to be finalised and enforced within three months
  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to submit report on the compensation regime
  • The state to submit time-targeted action plans
  • An institutional framework to ensure that no unregistered plastic manufacturing / recycling units are in operation and are not running in non-conforming/residential areas and plastic carry bags less than 50 microns thickness are not being manufactured.

Scientific disposal of fly ash

The NGT on February 12 directed thermal power plants to take prompt steps for scientific disposal of fly ash in accordance with the statutory notification issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act.

The CPCB has been asked to compute and levy environmental compensation. The CPCB's guidelines of May 2019 for utilisation / disposal of fly ash for reclamation of low lying areas and in stowing / back filling of abandoned mines / quarries should be complied with, the NGT added.

Fly ash utilisation in Chhattisgarh

The NGT on February 11 directed the MoEF&CC to proceed on the utilisation of fly ash generated by thermal power plants in Chhattisgarh by following the directions given in the matter of Shantanu Sharma vs Union of India & Others (O.A. No. 117/2014).

The order had called for the formation of a joint committee to finalise an action covering all aspects “so as to not only achieve 100 per cent utilisation of fly ash but also to ensure its scientific and environmentally-sound disposal.”

The committee would also be required to determine the amount of damages to be paid for violating fly ash utilisation requirement. The report needs to be submitted within two months and pending submission of such a report, all the thermal power stations that had failed to dispose off 100 per cent fly ash up to December 31, 2017, would be required to deposit damages for environment restoration.

Encroachment of green space by housing complex

The NGT on February 11 directed the constitution of a joint committee comprising the MoEF&CC, CPCB and Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, to assess compensation to be paid by Ambience Developers & Infrastructure Pvt Ltd for undertaking illegal construction of a commercial building in the area earmarked in the deed of declaration as ‘open spaces’.

The report of the local commissioner submitted in January 2018 acknowledged that green areas according to the layout plan were occupied by a nursery school, sewage treatment plan and electric substation and some of the green areas did not exist.

The applicant called the report incomplete and said it had not gone into the question of illegal constructions in area which were supposed to be open areas in the earlier approved plan. The open area should not have been converted into a covered area as that was a violation of environmental law.

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