Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (July 14, 2022)

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 15 July 2022

UPPCB report on Sonbhadra mining incomplete: NGT

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) July 13, 2022 expressed its dissatisfaction with the report filed by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board on illegal mining in the Sonbhadra district.

The court said the report is incomplete as “it does not mention the status of preparation of District Survey Report (DSR), EIA / EMP, replenishment study and grant of environmental clerance (EC) in favour of the Project Proponents”. 

It added that no action had been reported even for violations found and recommendations made. It accordingly directed the state pollution control board to file a further action taken report within a month.

The matter related to complaints of illegal mining in the villages of Bhagwa, Agorikhas, Khewandha and Rediaya, Obra tehsil, Korgi village in Dudhi tehsil in the Sonbhadra district. 

Poclain machines were used for mining and the requisite DSR has not been prepared nor EC granted as required under the Sand Mining Guidelines, 2020, read with the EIA Notification, 2006. 

It was further stated that the area where mining was being undertaken was within the periphery of a kilometre of forest area and also within the periphery of the Son river.

New NGT case on faulty building design, lack of ventilation systems

Raja Singh, an architect by profession, has filed an application before the NGT against the faulty designing of buildings and ventilation systems. This has been adversely affecting natural ventilation, resulting in excessive and avoidable use of energy and also depriving occupants of natural light and oxygen, he said.

The applicant sought directions for necessary changes in building bylaws for appropriate window design, carbon dioxide monitoring and responsible use of split air conditioners. 

Directions have also been sought to be given to builders to install carbon dioxide meters for ventilation monitoring in all buildings, at places where the public can be apprised of the monitoring.

Directions should also be given to manufacturers of air conditioners so that they can make innovations in the design of split air conditioners to make provisions for outdoor air instead of just re-circulated air, the petitioner said.

The NGT noted that the application raised substantial questions for the environment: Potential for saving energy, benefiting the environment and public health. 

The NGT has sought response on the subject from the Union Ministry of Urban Development, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Union Ministry of Renewable Energy and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

A report should be submitted within a month on the matter, the court directed.

NGT seeks report on Gurugram sewage, industrial waste discharged in Najafgarh drain

A bench of Justices Adarsh Kr Goel and Sudhir Agarwal of the NGT directed a Joint Committee of CPCB, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board, Gurugram’s municipal commissioner and the district magistrate to furnish a factual and action taken report.

The report should give updated factual status of disposal of sewage and trade effluents in the Najafgarh drain before its entry in Delhi within a month. 

The report must mention sources of such discharges into the drain, quantity of sewage being discharged and the performance of sewage treatment plants, the court order said.

The NGT order was in response to an application filed by Rao Satvir Singh against the disposal of sewage and trade effluents in the Najafgarh drain. The applicant said Gurugram sewage and industrial waste were being discharged into the drain.

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