Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Crop residue burning
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on October 15, 2019 directed the Centre and state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab to publish data of crop fire incidents, list of responsible officers and action taken reports on their websites.
“Even in five years if the state machinery is not able to communicate to the concerned farmers the techniques of sowing crops without burning the residue, it is an unhappy situation that needs to be remedied,” said the tribunal.
“If an incentive is to be given, it is for the State to decide and provide for the same. Even central funds or schemes are not fully utilised,” the NGT order added. The tribunal also ordered that action plans and enforcement strategies must be reviewed and states should allocate necessary funds to prevent burning of crop residue.
Restrict use of plastic: NGT
Based on an expert committee report, the NGT on October 14 ordered government agencies concerned to act against use of plastic bottles and multi-layered plastic packaging since it affects the environment and public health.
These agencies include Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, Bureau of Indian Standards, Central Pollution Control Board, Directorate General of Health Services and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
The expert committee was constituted to see if any regulatory provisions were required on plastic packaging and, if so, to what extent.
The committee, in its report, proposed a systematic action plan that included institution of the concept of ‘plastic footprint’ discouraging small pack sizes and reducing plastic content in multi-layered plastic.
Sand mining in Jagatdal Meghna Ghat
The tribunal on October 14 told the West Bengal Pollution Control Board to take remedial action and keep tab on illegal sand mining in District North 24 Parganas’ Jagatdal Meghna Ghat.
A report submitted by the board and a letter of district magistrate affirmed that there’s presence of illegal mining in the area and steps were taken for its closure. The board is also in the process of recovering environmental compensation.
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