Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (June 20, 2023)

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 21 June 2023

Wastewater discharged into Ghaziabad stormwater drains

Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam has made partial compliance in checking waste and sewage from entering stormwater drains, the Central Pollution Control Board told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) June 12, 2023.

Stormwater drains in Prahlad Garhi village in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh are still carrying domestic wastewater and trade effluents generated from residential and commercial activities in and around the village, a team appointed by the NGT found.

A team of the CPCB, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam was ordered on January 30, 2023 by the NGT to verify whether any sewage and other waste are flowing in the stormwater drains of Prahlad Garhi and its adjoining areas.

The Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam needs to take necessary action to remove encroachments from the roads and drains, illegal settlements and discharges from dairy farms, a compliance report submitted to the NGT stated. It also must ensure that stations do not discharge wastewater into the stormwater drains, the team further said.

Samples from the stormwater drains were also collected from three spots to ascertain the quality of the wastewater.

“Observed water quality of drains in terms of biochemical oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand revealed that drains are carrying sewage / sullage,” the report said.

The water quality at the terminal point — the drain at Vasundhara Sector 19 — also showed there was no change or improvement in the water quality of the stormwater drain as compared to the earlier sampling conducted on November 3, 2022.

Waste from dairies and wastewater from residential and commercial activities were being discharged into stormwater drains, the team further said.

The wastewater flowing in the existing stormwater drains finally merges with the Sahibabad drain. This drain is intercepted before it enters Delhi and is diverted to a 74 million-litres-a-day (MLD) sewage treatment plant (STP) at Indirapuram.

Sutlej pollution near Kiratpur Sahib

Domestic effluents from Kiratpur Sahib were being discharged into the Sutlej river in Rupnagar district, the Punjab chief secretary told the NGT.

The tender for construction of an STP with a capacity of 2 MLD at Kiratpur Sahib has been called several times, but the rates quoted by the contractor were too high, an officer of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) told the tribunal.

The state government has already transferred the funds to PWSSB for the construction of the main pumping station and STP, the executive officer, Nagar Panchayat, Kiratpur Sahib told the NGT. The pumping station has already been constructed, but the STP has not yet been built.

The chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board has decided to impose environmental compensation, the NGT was told. The state government has also been asked to initiate suitable action against the executive officer, Nagar Panchayat, Kiratpur Sahib and other responsible officers for dereliction of duty.

The deputy commissioner of Rupnagar passed an interim order, March 28, 2023, whereby the executive engineer, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Division, Rupnagar was directed to complete the work of STP by June 2024 by following due procedure.

Besides, the PWSSB was directed to maintain the temporary measures already adopted for the treatment of domestic effluent until the STP is commissioned, said the report.

Air pollution during construction of a flyover in Sonipat

Fly ash was covered with soil and various dust mitigation measures were adopted immediately after receiving the complaint of air pollution during the course of the construction of a flyover near 20th Mile Stone, Rai tehsil, Sonipat district, Haryana.

A representative of the National Highways Authority of India submitted a report to an inspection team comprising representatives of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and the deputy commissioner, Sonipat. 

The action-taken report filed by the Haryana SPCB was in compliance with an NGT order dated May 31, 2022 in the matter of Dheeraj Singh vs State of Haryana.

A complaint was filed before the NGT claiming that for three months, the contractor had laid fly ash on the site for filling during the construction of the flyover. The ash was polluting nearby areas.

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