Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Threat to Sutlej
A monitoring committee — headed by Jasbir Singh, a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court — presented its report to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) over pollution at Hadda Roddi in Punjab’s Ludhiana, near the Sutlej river.
The committee visited the carcass disposal site at village Ladhowal on February 13, 2020 and observed around 40-50 dead animals per day were collected from Ludhiana and its surrounding areas at Hadda Roddi.
Operating on about 5.5 acres of land, the dead animals are deskinned, with parts of dead animals cut into pieces to segregate bones, skin and other leftover material like animal dung and intestine material, the panel said. All these activities are carried out manually. The skins, bones and intestine are sold in the market for further processing by the other manufacturing units.
During the processing of dead animals for deskinning and cutting of various parts of the dead animal, stench is generated along with animal excreta and wastewater. A few organs of dead animals were found in wastewater stagnating along the Sutlej. Animal dung and other waste materials were found dumped in an open area, contributing to foul smell and other problems.
The committee also held discussions with the owners of the carcass disposal plants and it was informed that they have no option but to process dead animals at the present location because the new, modern and scientific carcass disposal plant at Noorpur Bet in Ludhiana by the municipal corporation, Ludhiana was not completed and commissioned so far.
The committee was of the view that these activities at present locations need to be closed down, keeping in view their environmental threat right on the bank of the Sutlej.
Ludhiana Municipal Corporation should complete and commission modern and scientific carcass disposal plant immediately for which the Punjab Pollution Control Board had already granted a no objection certificate under provisions of the Water Act, 1974 and Air Act, 1981.
The committee recommended that if the municipal corporation fails to commission the scientific carcass disposal plant at Noorpur Bet by August 31, 2020, environmental compensation amounting to Rs one lakh per month should be imposed upon it until the commissioning of the plant.
The report was made available to the public on May 10, 2020.
Bio-med waste in Jhansi
A compliance report was filed by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) pursuant to an NGT order of October 31, 2019.
The matter related to disposal of bio-medical waste by M/s Medical Pollution Control Committee, Growth Center, a common bio-medical waste treatment facility (CBMWTF) at the industrial area in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi.
At the time of inspection, it was found that disposal of bio-medical waste collected from several hospitals and healthcare facilities was improper.
Further, the plant machinery of CBMWTF was undergoing modernisation and not in a position to work perfectly. Partially, incineration of bio-medical waste was being conducted at a wrong temperature. A large quantity of bio-medical waste was transported from several hospitals and other healthcare facilities, but due to improper handling, disposal and incineration, it was stored at different places in dry-wet conditions within CBMWTF premises.
The dry-wet bio-medical waste was being transported to a sister concern unit at Panki in Kanpur by truck, without prior permission of UPPCB.
The report added that the effluent treatment plant was not functional and the ash of incinerated bio-medical waste was not being stored according to the Hazardous Waste Rules of 2016 and ash was being thrown outside premises improperly.
The case was heard pursuant to the order in original application number 915/2019 in the matter of Ravi Sharma vs State of Uttar Pradesh.
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