Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (March 10, 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: Monday 13 March 2023

Supply of potable water

The municipal council of Banur has installed new chlorine machines in its seven tube wells to ensure the supply of potable water, said the council in its report submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on March 7, 2023.

The council has also started replacing old and outdated pipelines, it added. The report was submitted in response to a complaint filed by Sunaina, an advocate and environment activist.

The municipality has been supplying contaminated water to residents of the Zirakpur, Banur and Rajpura belts. The residents were suffering from waterborne diseases, she said.

The NGT had directed municipal councils Banur, Zirakpur and Rajpura to ensure the supply of safe potable water. These municipal councils were asked to identify all the leaking water supply pipelines and either replace or provide new water supply lines.

Illegal sand mining 

A separate sand bar removal policy must be framed to define the sand bar in an intertidal riverine ecosystem. In addition, a plan should be put in place for the extraction and use of removed sand material as well as to decide on the quantum of sand to be removed, stated a joint committee report submitted to the NGT on March 9.

The tribunal appointed a committee in response to a petition filed by the All Traditional River Fishermen Association (TRFA), Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka.

The committee said the overall policy should not be guided by the demand and supply but should be based on the guiding principles of riverine biodiversity conservation, maintaining the riverine system’s intactness and protecting the livelihood of fishing communities.

Considering the restoration of river banks, the concerned authorities should take up the mangrove plantation with the participation of the fisher community.

Sand mining in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) affects various species of fish. The petitioners had requested the protection of fish varieties in the Phalguni and Nethravathi rivers from illegal sand miners.

The joint committee visited the areas along the Phalguni river bank. At the time of inspection, no sand bar removal was observed. However, the committee observed that fresh sand was illegally stored at two points on the banks of the river, weighing about 10 tonnes each.

During the inspection, TRFA informed the committee about their traditional dependence on the riverine ecosystem. This includes the collection of fin fishes, shellfish and shrimps for subsistence living.

The fishermen said due to the removal of the sand bar, their land has been eroded and submerged into the Phalguni and Netravathi rivers. Women involved in clamshell collection said pollution in the river had killed the clams in the creeks nearby.

From the Mangaluru city and Baikampady industrial area, untreated wastewater joins the river at several points through stormwater nala (waterbody), the report said.

Dust pollution

Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL) has taken measures to control air pollution due to the loading and unloading of coal by the industry’s vehicles plying on the Hal road at Shakti Nagar, Sonbhadra, according to a report submitted to the NGT on March 4.

Activities here have been creating dust pollution and health hazards for residents in Chilkadand village. During the inspection, the construction of an approximately 6.61 km long and 10.5 metres wide cement concrete road was found to be under progress, stated the report filed by the district administration and pollution control board, Uttar Pradesh.

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