Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (July 19, 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
Last Updated: Friday 19 July 2019

Pollution in river Thirur Ponnai

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on July 17, 2019 okayed an action plan filed by Kerala State Pollution Control Board for mitigation of pollution in river Thirur Ponnai in Malappuram district. The tribunal also asked board to implement it with strict adherence to the time line and cost projected in the report.

The river was polluted by discharge of domestic, industrial and trade wastes and the degree of pollution was the highest downstream at Thalakkadathoor, according to an interim report by Justice AV Ramkrishan Pillai, chairman of state-level monitoring committee of solid waste management, Kerala.

The tribunal has also asked the board to submit an action-taken report within three months, with “quantifiable and qualitative indicators to ascertain the progress made during the period”.

Policy on telemedicine

Justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Aniruddha Bose of the Supreme Court on July 15, 2019 set aside the restraining orders passed by the Orissa High Court allowing the state to review and formulate an appropriate policy to govern telemedicine centers within Odisha.

Odisha had questioned the correctness of the interim orders passed by the high court in a writ petition filed by the Orissa Trust of Technical Education.

Infrastructure and staff in forest department

Delhi’s forest department told the NGT on July 17, 2019 that forestry staff strength has been increased from 108 to 398, ministerial staff strength from 22 to 36 and there has been increase in infrastructure too.

The NGT then directed that sanctioned posts be filled up at the earliest and the order sanctioning further infrastructure be made operative. Delhi’s chief secretary has also been asked to file a compliance report.

Overflowing drain

The SC on July 15, 2019 ordered that an application filed by a resident of Banka municipality in Bihar regarding overflow of sludge from an open drain running beside his house be attended to by the municipality as it affects public health. The applicant's appeal was once rejected by the NGT on grounds that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the claim.

The apex court directed that the municipality’s chief officer to visit the place with a team of engineers in two weeks and prepare an appropriate plan of action.

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