Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Manufacturing of recycled plastic granules
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on October 15, 2019 directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to take steps to prevent polluting activities of units engaged in the process of manufacturing gitti (recycled plastic granules) for use of plastic pipes at Malegaon.
“While polluting activities cannot be allowed to continue on the ground that alternative sites may have to be explored, it is open to the authorities to take steps in that direction,” said the tribunal in its order.
“The industrial activity ought to be allowed without causing damage to the environment. The existing proposal for shifting of the units from residential area to any other area may be considered on its own merit,” read the order.
The Central Pollution Control Board had, on September 9, apprised the tribunal in a report that the list of 203 units as given by the Malegaon Municipal Corporation to be engaged in plastic related activities was not comprehensive and there can be more units engaged in the polluting activities.
Further, the list does not have information about the type of activities being carried out in terms of storage or sorting or recycling of waste plastics or manufacturing of pipes from plastic lump (gitti) derived from waste plastic recycling.
Also, not all plastic waste recycling units to whom closure directions have been issued by MPCB and power supply disconnection has reportedly been done by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Corporation (MSEDCL) have closed their operations effectively, the report revealed.
Sugar mill pollution
The NGT on October 15 heard the matter of a sugar mill in Dhadha, Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh violating environmental norms.
The unit was emitting smoke and discharging polluting effluents affecting public health, health of animals, underground water as well as soil in the area, the court was informed in an application.
The report submitted by a joint committee of the district magistrate of Kushinagar and the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) informed the tribunal that the unit has not installed sewage treatment plant for the treatment of sewage.
A fresh inspection would be carried out and action taken report filed, once the unit becomes operational again, the counsel for UPPCB told NGT. The unit is not operational, due to off-season.
The NGT acceded to the request and has listed the matter for January 28, 2020.
Illegal mining in Ganga
The NGT on October 15 heard the application filed by Kunal Raheja for action against illegal mining and construction in the flood plain of river Ganga in Pauri district, Uttarakhand.
The illegal constructions have been stopped and “compensation recorded”, according to an affidavit filed by the district magistrate of Pauri.
The NGT, further, directed that whatever construction has been illegally raised should be removed and the cost recovered from the person responsible for the construction.
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