Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (May 28, 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: Thursday 28 May 2020
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

Konothupuzha river pollution

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 26, 2020, granted the request of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) for extension of two months time to submit a report on the Konothupuzha river in Ernakulam district.

The order was the follow-up of the tribunal order of January 24. The January 24 order had called for the appointment of a joint committee to look into the matter of how the river was being polluted.

The committee was to comprise of the Ernakulam district collector, the KSPCB, the public works department, the secretary of the Ernakulam district panchayat and the commissioners of the respective municipalities and executive officers of the respective Gram Panchayats through which the river flowed.

The committee had to come up with a proper action plan with specific time lines to abate the pollution in the river. The court had also said that if needed, the plan could be extended to other river stretches as well. 

Migrant labourers 

The Supreme Court on May 26 took “suo motu cognizance of problems and miseries of migrant labourers who had been stranded in different parts of the country” amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

The court directed the government of India, state governments / union territories to appraise it of the steps taken on the matter, keeping in mind the urgency of the situation. The court also directed that adequate transport arrangement, food and shelters be immediately provided to the migrants, free of cost. 

Ousuddu lake protection

The southern Bench of the NGT on May 26 directed the committee on Ousuddu lake to submit its report by August 10.

The order came in the wake of the failure of the committee to file its report on the wetland.

A committee was appointed by the NGT that was to comprise of the chief wildlife warden of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, a senior scientist from the Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Chennai, officers from the Wetland Authority of both, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and a scientist from Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

The report would look into the impact that the withdrawal of water would have on the wetland and whether it could be permitted, keeping in mind the protection of the water body for the purpose of maintaining bio-diversity and the flora, fauna and migratory birds in the area.

The report would also consider the question as to whether any approval was required form the chief wildlife warden as well as the National Board of Wildlife for the purpose.

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