Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal through the week
SC asks for report on air quality index of town and cities
The Supreme Court (SC) on November 25, 2019, directed notices to be issued to all the states to give information on the air quality index in their various towns and how cities were discharging their duties with respect to lifting of garbage and waste.
The apex court was hearing the matter of air pollution in the Delhi-National Capital region, which shows a huge increase during winter months because of stubble burning in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The apex court also asked the pollution control boards of the various states as well as the Central Pollution Control Board to submit data and material with respect to various rivers and the steps taken to curb pollution in them alongwith management of industrial effluents, sewage, garbage, waste and air pollution, including water management.
Notice was also issued to states where stubble burning was taking place to submit reports on the steps taken to curb the problem.
Restore water bodies in Saini village
The SC quashed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order of allotment of local ponds in Saini village, Dadri Tehsil, in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Budh Nagar district, to private industrialists.
The case had been dismissed by the NGT in March 2019 on the basis of an affidavit filed by the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) on grounds that it was developing bigger alternative water bodies.
Jitendra Singh (appellant), a resident of Saini village, had filed a case in the NGT against M/s Sharp Enterprises Ltd and alleged that the firm was using excavataors and other heavy machinery and forcibly taking possession of a ‘common pond’, which had been used by local villagers for a century.
Large tracts of the appellant's village had been acquired under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, ostensibly for industrial development by GNIDA. Subsequently, these acquired lands (including some local ponds) had been leased to private industrialists, including Sharp in 2012.
The SC directed the authorities to restore, maintain and protect the water bodies. Further, all obstructions from the catchment area through which natural water accumulates in the village ponds have to be removed within a period of three months.
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