Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
The National Green Tribunal directed the constitution of a committee November 4, 2022 to look into the operation of 181 brick kilns allegedly operating illegally in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district.
The committee, comprised of Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB) and District Magistrate, Haridwar, will have to submit a report within one month.
Remedial or preventive action taken against brick kilns in Haridwar should be mentioned in the report, the NGT order said. The Bench was hearing a petition by applicant Ajay Kumar.
It shall also give relevant facts on the aspects of citing criteria and air carrying capacity in accordance with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notification, February 22, 2022.
UEPPCB also has to submit a response to explain why they have identified 195 brick kilns running, of which only 14 have valid consent. Details of any action taken also need to be furnished, the NGT said.
A large number of brick kilns are operating illegally without requisite consent, no-objection certificate and clearance from appropriate statutory regulations, Kumar said in his plea.
“More than 190 brick kilns are operating in the area without complying with the requirement of environmental norms,” Kumar said.
Only 14 out of the 195 rick kilns identified by UEPPCB have valid consent and the rest are operating illegally, Kumar’s plea said, citing information received via Right To Information Act. Still, no action has been taken by officials of the state PCB, he said.
State and central government authorities need to ensure Sikkim has safe solutions to manage its sewage and solid waste, which keep in mind the climatic and topographical conditions of the state, the NGT said in an order November 3, 2022.
The Union Ministry of Urban Development, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation under the Centre and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) need to provide safe methods keeping in mind the unique problems in Sikkim, the NGT said.
This would involve reaffirmation of sewage management through septic tanks or soak pits and faecal sludge treatment plant (FSTP) in urban and rural hilly areas, the Bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Sudhir Agarwal said.
Processing wet solid (degradable) waste by appropriate means, including remediation of legacy waste, is also a part of it. The Ministry of Urban Development needs to coordinate this activity for which the state may also take the initiative, the court added.
The solutions may be applied in other hilly states in Northeast India and Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The Secretary for the Union Ministry of Defence must coordinate with urban local bodies and other authorities concerned to address waste management in armed forces establishments and cantonment areas in hill states, the tribunal said.
Necessary measures must be taken for waste management by adequate monitoring in the interest of the environment and public health, it added.
The Sikkim government should take measures to bridge the gaps in solid and liquid waste generation and treatment by an innovative approach and stringent monitoring at the earliest, the tribunal said.
“Environment compensation for restoration to the tune of Rs 50 crores can be dovetailed with the state budget. Restoration plans need to be executed at the earliest simultaneously in all districts/cities/ towns/ villages in a time-bound manner without further delay,” the Bench said.
The Chief Secretary, Sikkim, must ensure compliance with the directions, it added.
Goa has 42 identified wetlands as, the state wetland authority (GSWA) submitted to the NGT November 3, 2022.
GSWA filed its eleventh quarterly progress report to the NGT on the identification and notification of wetlands under Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017.
Of the 42 wetlands, eight have been notified under the Rules. A draft has been notified for nine of them, the report added.
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