Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (May 14, 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
Published: Tuesday 14 May 2019

Considerable change in Yamuna flood plain observed: NGT panel report

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 9, 2019 received a report by the joint inspection team that investigated the demarcation of Yamuna river floodplain in Agra and the construction in it.

During inspection, the team found that area along flood plain had changed considerably owing to construction activity and some of the drains were blocked owing to human activity. The flood plain area at many of places has been significantly filled up. The team studied and mapped demarcated flood line in eight properties and found that many constructions fell within the flood line.

Plant trees, prepare action plan for Polavaram project: Committee tells NGT

The NGT on May 10, 2019 heard the issue of remedial steps against violation of environmental norms in construction of Indira Sagar Polavaram Multipurpose Project in Andhra Pradesh. A four-member committee submitted a report on the matter suggesting, among other things, afforestation on dumps to prevent air pollution and action plan be prepared on the feasibility of utilising the excavated material within the project area.

Another report furnished by the committee was to rectify the deficiencies pointed out by the tribunal. The committee indicated timelines extending up to June 30, 2019 and asked the project proponent to take further specified actions.

21 states/ UTs yet to submit action plan on treated waste water

NGT’s three-member bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel, SP Wangdi and K Ramakrishnan on May 10, 2019 asked 21 states/Union Territories to submit their action plans on utilisation of treated waste water from sewage treatment plants by June 30, 2019. Failing this, coercive measures including compensation for loss to environment would be considered, said the bench.

The plans should include a monitoring mechanism in states for coordination with local bodies, which would be the responsibility of the chief secretaries of all states/UTs. Also, the matter has been connected with the rejuvenation of 351 river stretches.

MoHUA to provide funds to Himachal for solid waste processing plant

The Himachal Pradesh government had told NGT it needed funds from the Centre to set up solid waste processing plant to ensure waste is not dumped in river Beas.

This gave way to a conflict between the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) on who will provide the funds. The tribunal had asked both ministries to hold a joint meeting, where the housing ministry approved the proposal to provide funds to Himachal under Swachh Bharat Mission.

On May 10, 2019, the NGT directed the Secretary of the ministry to look into the matter as it has been pending for a long time and furnish an action taken report.

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