Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Railways should conform to air quality standards: NGT
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 27, 2019 directed the Railways to load and unload goods at Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, in a manner that conforms to the ambient air quality standards laid down by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB).
Hearing a petition filed by Shivansh Pandey on pollution in and around the railway godown in Faizabad in the course of loading and unloading of cement, fertilisers and grains by trucks — polluting the air quality and causing respiratory problems — the NGT asked the UPPCB to assess and recover compensation for the damage caused and the cost of restoration from the polluters on ‘polluter pays’ principle.
Polluting dying units in Delhi to be closed down
Pollution by jeans and dying units at Bhim Colony, Aali Vihar and Sarita Vihar in Delhi came up for hearing before the NGT on May 27, 2019. A joint committee of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the sub-divisional magistrate (south-east), confirmed that pollution was being caused, and steps have been initiated to close down the polluting units and recover compensation. The NGT directed that further progress report be furnished by the committee within two months.
Plea to stop construction on hill slopes of Mumbai
A three-member bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, SP Wangdi and K Ramakrishnan of the NGT on May 27, 2019 heard an application seeking direction against construction and selling of flats resulting in damage to the Parsik Hill and the green belt at Navi Mumbai.
Construction would involve cutting trees and disturbance to forest land. Quarrying along the hill has affected the biodiversity, forest and the water bodies. It is submitted that to prevent further destruction of biodiversity and the hills, there is need to debar any further construction adjacent to hill slopes and hilltops, and hills with slope of 25 degree cannot be permitted to be cut.
By this yardstick, Powai hill, Chandivali hill, Worli hill, Antop hill, Malabar hill and Parsik hill need to be protected. The NGT directed submission of a joint report from the Urban Development Department, the Land and Revenue Department and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Maharashtra, in the matter within one month.
Illegal sand mining in Panchnad
Illegal sand mining on the riverbed between Etawah and Jalaun district, including Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh has the potential to damage the ecology of the river and its aquatic life.
An application alleging sand mining in the river Yamuna and its four tributaries — Chambal, Kwari, Sindh and Pahuj — which merge in the river at Panchnad, by using JCB and other machines, came up for consideration before the NGT on May 24, 2019.
The NGT ordered that a joint report by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority be submitted in the matter.
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