Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (October 1, 2019)

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: Tuesday 01 October 2019
Photo: Getty Images

Yamuna pollution

The Supreme Court on September 27, 2019 asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to check whether Mathura Cantonment, Uttar Pradesh followed the directions of National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding the dumping of municipal solid wastes on the Yamuna riverbed.

The NGT had, in April 2017, ordered that a boundary wall be constructed between the dumping site and the river to ensure that under no circumstances the municipal solid waste is able to enter directly or indirectly into the flood plain of the river or in Yamuna. Directions were also given for developing a green belt.

The SC directed that an official from the CPCB inspect the spot and submit a report on whether the boundary wall has been constructed, the present position of the river and suggest measures for cleaning Yamuna. The report has to be submitted within six weeks.

Polavaram project

No major plantation activity was undertaken at the Indira Sagar Polavaram Multipurpose Project in Andhra Pradesh, the NGT was informed on September 27.

Muck was being illegally dumped during construction and no remedial action was being taken, alleged an application filed by one Pentapati Pulla Rao, an activist seeking remedial action for protection of environment.

The tribunal had, on February 19, 2019, directed the Polavaram Project Authority to take appropriate steps in the matter and a joint committee was asked to submit a status report after re-verification.

The latest report filed by the State Pollution Control Board on behalf of the committee indicated that though the excavation work has been stopped due to monsoon, the project proponent has failed to submit action taken reports.

“No major plantation activity was undertaken as required and there was large scale loss due to submergence on account of cofferdam” the court was informed.  

The tribunal directed the project proponent to take remedial action and furnish an action taken report within a month. The chief executive of the Indira Sagar Polavaram Multipurpose Project must be present for assistance to the tribunal at the next hearing on November 7, the NGT said.

Sand mining in Basloi river

Unrestricted mining of sand is taking place from the riverbed of Basloi in Jharkhand, the NGT was informed in an application on September 27.

The state government did not categorise streams/rivers for strict regulation of sand mining in the District Survey Report on sustainable sand mining, alleged the application filed by one Birsa Munda Seba Sartha.

The mining was also in violation of the Jharkhand State Sand Mining Policy, 2017, Sartha claimed.

The tribunal directed constitution of a joint committee comprising of the deputy commissioner and district mining officer of Pakur district as well as Jharkhand Pollution Control Board to inspect the area, verify the factual aspects and submit a report.

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