Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (February 13, 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
Published: Thursday 13 February 2020

Compliance of environmental norms by armed forces

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on February 11, 2020 directed the defence secretary to provide the name of the responsible joint secretary who would file a report on waste management by the armed forces.

The tribunal was responding to an application by Air Marshal (retd) Anil Chopra, who had stated that some establishments of the armed forces lacked requisite knowledge on ecological issues and solutions to environmental challenges, particularly in virgin areas.

Waste generated by military weapons as well as domestic, industrial, biological, hospital and electronic activities (e-waste) needed to be scientifically disposed off in the interest of public health and environment, the application said. The armed forces could also face such problems in desert and marine areas, thus requiring monitoring at an appropriate level, it added.

In May 2019, the tribunal had asked the Union Ministry of Defence to file a status report in the matter after ascertaining the relevant facts and status of compliance of environmental norms from different concerned establishments within three months. But no report had been filed till February 2020.

Punjab sand auction 

The NGT on February 12 said no further orders were necessary regarding the auctioning of sand / gravel in violation of the Sustainable Sand Mining Management Policy 2016 (SSMMP) in Punjab as requisite action had been taken.

The Punjab Government had decided to grant block-wise mining leases without preparing any district survey report, in violation of SSMMP, an application had alleged.

A report submitted by a joint committee comprising the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, State Environment Impact Assessment Authority, Punjab and Punjab Pollution Control Board stated that “in several cases, leases have been given without following the statutory procedure.”

Tree felling in Ratlam

The NGT on February 12 disposed of an application that alleged illegal cutting of trees in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh.

The NGT‘s action came after a report submitted by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Madhya Pradesh informed the tribunal that trees were being cut with due permission. 

The report also stated that there were enough trees in and around the vicinity and that the Nagar Nigam, Ratlam had planted 80 new trees in order to compensate the environmental loss.

Slaughter house operation in Agra

The NGT on February 11 directed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to look into whether environmental norms had been violated by a  slaughter house owned by meat exporter M/s International Agro Foods in Agra district. 

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