Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (May 22, 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: Friday 22 May 2020

Delhi construction waste

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 20, 2020 directed the chief secretary of Delhi to coordinate with all concerned authorities in Delhi and ensure that construction and demolition (C&D) waste was not transferred to the Bhalswa landfill site.

If there was no adequate compliance of law, the tribunal warned that coercive measures would be taken, including recovery of compensation for “failure to uphold the rule of law resulting in continued damage to the environment and the public health.”

The NGT order came in the wake of an application filed against IL&FS Co at Jahangirpuri, Delhi, for violating environmental norms. In addition, there was also a huge deposition of waste in front of the C&D waste processing facility's main gate.

The chief secretary of Delhi on January 15 sent letters to the National Highways Authority of India, Central Public Works Department, National Buildings Construction Corporation India Ltd and Delhi Development Authority for taking action urgently to overcome the problem of accumulated C&D Waste (both processed and unprocessed) lying at the C&D waste processing facilities in Delhi particularly at Jahangirpuri (Burari) and Shastri Park.

Further, in the report filed by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee on March 19 to the NGT, it was stated that there was improvement in take-off / lifting of C&D recycled materials and waste received at the C&D waste processing facilities and they were matching with the off take of the C&D recycled products and that meant no accumulation of recycled products.

The NGT observed that further steps should be taken to ensure increase of off take and lifting of C&D recycled material and that the capacity for processing of waste has to be adequately enhanced with timelines. The Bhalswa landfill site had already crossed its capacity and it was not advisable to allow any more dumping of C&D waste, the NGT order said.

Compensation to be paid 

The Udhampur municipal council cannot escape from paying compensation for violating environmental norms, the two member bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sheo Kumar Singh of NGT ordered on May 21.

The municipal council had challenged the orders of the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Board of November 21, 2019 and January 30 of this year, requiring the municipal council to pay compensation.

“The applications are not maintainable as statutory appeals are provided,” the order said and added that the the municipal council had not taken any meaningful steps for treating the sewage and stop discharge of untreated sewage in rivers and land in Udhampur. 

Dyeing factories in Delhi

The NGT on May 22 expressed dissatisfaction at the “deficient”report of Delhi Pollution Control Committee on the illegal operation of dyeing factories in the areas of Bawana, Narela, Mayapuri, Libaspur and Nangli Sakrawat of Delhi.

“While it gives the conclusion about the status of compliance, the data on which such conclusion is based is not available. It is, thus, not possible to check up the correctness of the conclusion mentioned in the report,” the order said.

The NGT called for an that an exhaustive survey to be conducted in the area to ascertain whether apart from the 61 units which had been checked and some found non-compliant, whether there are other non-compliant units and directed for a report to be filed before August 31, 2020.

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