Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (October 16, 2020)

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: Friday 16 October 2020

Tamil Nadu E-Vehicle policy

Tamil Nadu filed a report with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on steps to reduce air pollution levels caused through vehicles. The state government said it has taken various steps to increase purchase of electronic vehicles that will help reduce air pollution levels.

The Tamil Nadu Electric Vehicle Policy, 2019 provides various concessions to manufacturers and users of E-vehicles, the report uploaded to the NGT site October 16, 2020 said.

The state government aims to attract Rs 50,000 crore of investment in E-vehicle manufacturing, providing infrastructure for charging, shared mobility, recycle and reusing used batteries and disposal of rejected batteries in an environment-friendly manner.

The state issued orders for concessional rate of life-time tax in respect of e-vehicles. Moreover, the Tamil Nadu e-vehicle policy gives 50 per cent tax exemption till 2022 for all e-vehicles of two- and four-wheelers. The number of e-vehicles registered in 2020 has been gradually increasing.

The report stated that the state would promote conversion of all auto rickshaws in six major cities — Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai, Salem and Tirunelveli — to EVs within a span of 10 years and this will be extended to other cities and towns in a gradual manner.

Similarly, the state would support conversion of all taxis and app-based transport operators and aggregators in these cities to EVs within a span of 10 years.

Around 1,000 electric buses would be introduced every year and private operators would be encouraged to transition to electric buses.

The Indian Oil Corp has come up with a new project making available compressed bio gas (CBG) in Salem and Namakkal disticts for use in automobile. This CBG is produced from biomass / waste sources and has a calorific value and other properties similar to CNG.

It can be used as an alternative renewable automotive fuel.

Northern Coal Field

An application was filed by Ramesh Chander Verma with the NGT against developing of a dwarf wall / overburden dump (stack of mined coal, mixed with fly ash) by Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCF), Kharia Project at Shakti Nagar, Sonebhadra, Uttar Pradesh, near railway residential area.

Such activities were generating dust, affecting the air quality and health of the inhabitants. The activity falls in the ‘Red’ category — which means it has a serious environmental impact — the applicant said.

The matter was taken up October 14 by the Bench of judges Adarsh Kumar Goel and SP Wangdi. The NGT directed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) and the district magistrate, Sonebhadra, to look into the grievance and take further action as may be found necessary.

The action taken report must be filed within three months, the tribunal added.

Drug industry

The NGT directed the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the district magistrate, Anantapuramu, to look into the matter of pollution by Siflon Drugs Pvt Ltd emitting foul odour and causing air pollution at Bellary Road, Rachanapalli.

The complaint filed by St Mark Educational Institution Society Group of Institution said the drug industry’s polluting activity was against the interest of the environment and public health.

Illegal mining in Panchkula

The commissioner, Ambala, was directed by the NGT October 14 to look into the matter of illegal mining on agricultural land at village Shyamahu, Panchkula, Haryana and take appropriate action.

The applicant, Manish Kumar, said the mining was done up to the depth of 100 feet in violation of norms. The said illegal mining has potential to cause damage to crops and agricultural fields.

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