Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (May 20, 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
Last Updated: Monday 20 May 2019
Court digest
Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

Extension of breakwater at Chhara 

The grant of environmental and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for the extension of breakwater at Chhara Port came up for consideration before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 15, 2019. According to a case field by the residents of the area — Chhara Sarkhadi village of Kodinar taluka in Gujarat's Gir Somnath district — the extension would affect the aquatic life and eco-sensitive area, which has not been taken into account. The same holds true for the quantity of minerals, construction material, forest and timber. 

No requisite public hearing was conducted for the project by M/s Simar Port Pvt Ltd; the Asiatic Lion conservation plan has also not been prepared. The NGT directed the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board and Simar Port to submit a report within a month. 

Compensation for Faridabad damage

According to a report submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) before the NGT on May 16, 2019,  untreated waste water from Badkal village as well as from drainage system of Sainik Colony near Sectors 48-49, Faridabad was being disposed into the open and the sewer line was chocked. The sewage network has not been cleaned for long; solid waste and demolition waste were also being dumped on open land. The Municipal Corporation Faridabad and the Haryana Urban Development Authority were accountable in the issue.

The NGT sought a report detailing the damages to be recovered, identification of polluters and erring officers, from whom compensation for the damage to the environment and cost of restoration should be recovered.

Central Monitoring Committee responsible for elephants 

The NGT on May 16, 2019 said the Central Monitoring Committee constituted by the MoEFCC was responsible for coordinating with states home to elephants regarding the safety of the animals in protected zones. The NGT had taken up an application by Pradip Kumar Bhuyan, seeking adequate steps for conservation of free passage for elephants in Assam. Railway tracks, national and state highways and transmission lines should be declared elephant protection zones, similar to ecological sensitive areas, Bhuyan said.  

Lackadaisical attitude on Almora SWM 

The NGT on May 16, 2019 directed Uttarakhand to furnish a performance guarantee of Rs 10 lakh to the CPCB to ensure timely compliance of its directions on the issue of unscientific disposal of municipal solid waste at Almora. The state's chief secretary has been directed to monitor the situation; the MoEFCC has been asked to explain why orders were not complied with.

It was pointed out that the matter has been pending before the tribunal for four years. The NGT had directed through on September 12, 2018 that the waste processing and treatment facility must commence before December 15, 2018, which would be the responsibility of the state's additional chief secretary for urban development. A direction was also issued to the MoEFCC to take steps to implement Extended Producer’s Responsibility in accordance with Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.

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