Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Finalise ‘deemed forest’ standards: SC to Uttarakhand
Finalising the criteria and standard to determine what constitutes "deemed forest" for the purpose of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, for Uttarakhand came up for hearing before the Supreme Court (SC) on May 7, 2019.
In one of the previous hearings, the SC was informed that Uttarakhand had sent a draft criteria to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and that it has been in possession of the MoEF&CC since 2014. Now, it has come to the notice of the SC that "nothing concrete has been sent to the Ministry".
The SC has directed the state of Uttarakhand to send the necessary proposal within a period of six weeks to the MoEF&CC, which, in turn, would look into the said proposal and do the needful within a period of eight weeks thereafter.
NGT seeks Rajmahal stone mining assessment
A two-member bench of Justices SP Wangdi and K Ramakrishnan of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 7, 2019 said the inspection report filed by the district mining officer of Sahebganj District, Jharkhand, on illegal stone mining and stone crusher units in the Rajmahal Hills shows a lack of action by the concerned state and State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) authorities.
NGT, while emphasising on the necessity to assess the environmental damages, directed the committee constituted to look into the matter to assess the damages on parameters which includes the quantum of minerals extracted and crushed and the damage on account of Net Present Value against the ecological loss forgone forever.
Coal dust at Chhenga Pahad
Raw coal transported by uncovered heavy trucks for the coal washery plant of ACB (India) Ltd in Kanika village, Hemgir tehsil, in Odisha’s Sundargarh district has resulted in black coal dust settling along the route. The Chhenga Pahad Reserve Forest under the Hemgir Forest Range, Sundergarh Forest Division, has also been covered with coal dust, affecting the health of the forest.
These allegations came up for hearing before the NGT on May 6, 2019 and keeping in view the facts, the SPCB and District Magistrate, Sundergarh and the Divisional Forest Officer, Sundergarh have been directed to jointly inspect the area in question and verify on the correctness of the allegations and if found correct, take appropriate action in accordance with law to remedy the situation.
CETP catering to 500 industries in Vatva non-compliant, polluting Sabarmati
The NGT on May 8, 2019 heard an application filed by the Aryavarat Foundation on the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) located at Vatva near Ahmedabad run by the Green Environment Services Co-operative Society, not being operated as required in terms of the obligations cast upon it in the consolidated Consent and Authorisation order.
The inspections carried out by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) found the CETP to be consistently non-compliant. The CETP in question, which caters to about 500 industries situated in the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, Vatva, has failed to meet the inlet parameters prescribed by the Controller of Certifying Authorities, treat the same and to discharge the trade effluents without meeting the outlet parameters. This has resulted in the river Sabarmati being contaminated.
NGT directed notice to be issued to GPCB and Green Environment Services Co-operative Society.
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