Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (July 17, 2019)

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: Wednesday 17 July 2019

Assess damage to environment and health

Assess the value of damage to the environment and public health and the proportion of compensation to be recovered from those causing pollution in and around Ambapada and Mahul villages near Mumbai, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on July 15, 2019.

"Having considered the acknowledged generation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by the units, the impact on the environment and public health in the area and its estimated monetary value should be assessed.

"Steps should be taken for restoration accordingly, after verifying the database on VOCs and reduction of targets by taking the services of expert professionals / institutions. The values so assessed may be recovered from the units in question, in appropriate proportion," the NGT noted in its order.

Check on environmental violations

The NGT expressed disappointement on July 15 about the Uttar Pradesh government's handling of issues related to the illegal operation of marriage halls, nursing homes, hospitals and other commercial establishments in the districts of Banda, Mahoba and Chitrakoot.  

The commercial complexes have been operating in violation of the air act (1981), the water act (1974), the environment act (1986), the bio-medical waste management rules, 2016, and the solid waste management rules ,2016 according to a report by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) submitted on July 11, 2019. 

However, despited the report, said the NGT, the state government had not initiated any prosecution initiated for the violations of law. Also, an amount of Rs 14 crore towards environmental restoration had not been utilised despite being available.  

NGT directed that a plan be prepared for utilising the environment restoration fund with the approval of CPCB within one month and to ensure that there was effective enforcement of law. It asked the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh to review the situation and furnish a report within a month. The UPPCB has also been asked to file a compliance report before October 18. 2019.

Non-compliance of Bio-Medical Waste Rules 

Furnish the complete inventory of healthcare facilities (HCFs) and bio-medical waste generation within two months, the NGT ordered state government on July 15, 2019.

The tribunal was hearing about the non-compliance of the provisions of Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Twenty-five per cent of identified HCFs have not even taken authorisation from the concerned state pollution control boards in the absence of which, the monitoring of waste management is not taking place, the NGT said in its order.

If the states and union territories were found to be non-compliant even after two months, they would have to pay compensation at the rate of Rs one crore per month till the non-compliance continued, the NGT said.

Untreated sewage in the Tapi 

A performance guarantee of Rs one crore each is to be submitted by the Surat Municipal Corporation, the Surat Development Authority and the Gujarat government to the Central Pollution Control Board, the NGT said on July 11, 2019.

This was after the tribunal was informed that untreated sewage which was being disposed off from into the Tapi river in Surat, within the jurisdiction of the Surat Urban Development Authority, had been intercepted and diverted from Valak, Gadhpur and Varachha creeks by the Surat Municipal Corporation, due to which 135 Million Litres Per Day of untreated sewage entering the river Tapti had been stopped at the cost of Rs 42 crore. 

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