Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (January 19, 2024)

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

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 19 January 2024

NGT directs Hamirpur municipal council to file fresh report on status of setting up waste processing plant, legacy waste remediation

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) January 16, 2024 directed the Municipal Council, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh to file a fresh report by April 10, 2024, giving the latest status on setting up of a waste processing plant and remediating legacy waste as on March 31, 2024.

On December 29, 2023, the civic body had sent a response that stated that steps for legacy waste have already been taken and treatment and disposal of legacy waste is continuously going on. 

Around 6.2 tonnes of waste is generated daily in the municipality and for its processing, a tender was floated and the process will be finalised within the next 10 days. Initially, the quantum of legacy waste was estimated to be around 2,000 tonnes but subsequently, it has been found that it was much deeper and hence, a total quantity may be much more and as a rough estimate it may be up to 1,000 tonnes and therefore, its disposal may take some longer time.

SC directs CEC to look into issue of mining in Aravalli Hills and range

The SC asked the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to examine whether the classification of Aravalli hills and range, in so far as permitting mining is concerned, needs to be continued or not.

The court also recommended that CEC take on board geology expertsbefore finalising its report. 

SC also said January 10 that if the state was of the view that the mining activities in the Aravali Range is also detrimental to the environmental interest, "nothing stops the State Government from preventing mining activities in the Aravalli Range as well”.

Monitoring committee to look into use of clay paver blocks & plying of e-rickshaws in Matheran: SC

Counsel for the state of Maharashtra informed the apex court that the monitoring committee in consultation with IIT Bombay was looking into the proposal of using clay paver blocks, instead of concrete paver blocks in Matheran. It is necessary to use clay paver blocks in order to prevent soil erosion, the court was told.

The SC clarified January 10 that e-rickshaws, if permitted, would be only provided to the present rickshaw pullers (who drag the rickshaws by hand) in order to compensate them on account of their loss of employment. Further, there would also be a restriction on the number of e-rickshaws to be permitted in Matheran. 

The monitoring committee was also asked to examine as to which of the roads / streets would be permitted to be used by the e-rickshaws, as also the number of such vehicles to be plied.

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