Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (May 19, 2020)

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 19 May 2020

Use of treated sewage

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in a report on May 18, 2020 recommended states and Union territories (UTs) be directed to implement an action plan for utilisation of treated sewage latest by 2023. The states should also be directed to estimate the quantity of sewage generated and provide adequate treatment capacity, a primary requirement for preparation of an action plan for treated sewage, according to the report.

The report also called for identification of more bulk users and industrial usage diversification.

The CPCB — in its recommendations to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) — called for the imposition of Rs one lakh per month as environmental compensation from December 1, 2019 till date on the below states / UTs for their failure to provide either no information or partial information:

  • Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh for their failure in not submitting any information.
  • Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa and West Bengal submitted limited information in their action plans
  • Karnataka (Bengaluru), Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram) and Telangana (Hyderabad) only submitted city-specific action plans. Action plans for treated sewage reuse in the states were not provided.
  • Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Sikkim and Tripura cited local terrain and technical issues for not being able to plan use of treated sewage in their states and UTs.

Land encroachment

The NGT on May 18 directed a joint committee — including representatives of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation, Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the district magistrate — to take remedial action on the matter of encroachment of government land and discharge of sewage at Bhopal’s Kauluva village .

Waterbody encroachment

The NGT on May 15 directed the assessment and recovery of environmental compensation for illegal encroachment and water pollution of a stream by a hotel and a rice mill at village Pokharpur in Bihar’s Nalanda district.

A report by the Bihar State Pollution Control Board said the issue of encroachment by the hotel needed to be probed further.

The effluent treatment plant (ETP) — with respect to the rice mill — was not functional and conditions of consent to operate were not complied with, according to the report. A Discharge Consent Order under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Emission Consent Order under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 expired, for which action was initiated.

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