Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (February 7, 2024)

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: Friday 09 February 2024

DTE impact: NGT notice over illegal sand mining in Sone river

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has registered an application suo motu on the basis of a news item, Illegal sand mining: 20 arrested, 40 big boats seized in Bihar police operation on Sone river, published on Down To Earth website on December 22, 2023. The matter came up for hearing before the NGT on February 5, 2024. 

Large scale illegal sand mining is taking place in Sone river in Bihar districts like Patna, Bhojpur, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Saran and Vaishali, the report said. A criminal syndicate involved in illegal sand mining has unleashed terror by attacking and killing police officials who have cracked down upon them, it added.

The principal bench of the NGT said the matter raised substantial issues relating to compliance of the environmental norms and directed notices be issued to the Bihar State Pollution Control Board through its member secretary; district magistrate, Patna and regional office, Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC).

The Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) filed a reply based on an advance notice, which substantiated the news report because it reflected some action taken by the BSPCB, the court noted. The next hearing of the case will be held on March 22 before the Eastern Zone Bench.

MoEFCC to file report on illegal mining in river Kailash

NGT on February 5, 2024 directed the regional office, MoEFCC to file a report on the extent of illegal mining taking place in Kailash river, Nakulia village, Udham Singh Nagar district, Uttarakhand.

The court ordered the authority to conduct an on-the-spot inspection and disclose all details, including the geo-coordinates of the location where the inspection was conducted and illegal mining was discovered, the number and size of pits / voids created as a result of the illegal mining and the individuals responsible for it.

The report has to be filed one week before the next date of hearing, April 18, 2024.

The application was registered suo motu on the basis of a newspaper report that stated illegal mining was taking place using heavy machinery in Kailash river, Nakulia village.

GAIL issued notice on allegations of pipeline being built on floodplain zone of Ramganga river 

The NGT on February 5, 2024 directed that notices be issued to the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and the Irrigation Department, Uttar Pradesh over a pipeline being laid by GAIL at Milak Kharakpur Baaje village, Moradabad tehsil and district.

The application said the pipeline was being laid in violation of environmental norms and the region comes under the floodplain zone of Ramganga and Gagan river .

The court directed the district magistrate of Moradabad to demarcate the floodplain zone of the river in question in accordance with the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management) Authorities Order, 2016 and file the report.

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