Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (October 21, 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: Wednesday 21 October 2020

Fly ash barges on the Hooghly

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) October 19, 2020, directed a committee to look into incidents of barges carrying fly ash capsizing in the Hooghly river in West Bengal. The committee was asked to fix responsibility and prepare a time-bound action plan to prevent such occurrences in the future.

The NGT action was in response to an application filed with it by the Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum. The application stated that riverine ecology had been disturbed due to such incidents as mostly old, worn out and dilapidated barges were being plied. It also said the activities were being undertaken in violation of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines issued in 2013.

Pollution by Pionex 

The NGT October 19 directed the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) to take appropriate action on the Pionex Pvt Ltd company flouting environmental norms in the Gulamichak village of Patna district.

There was visible fugitive emission in the company’s plant in Gulamichak, according to a report filed by a joint committee comprising the district magistrate of Patna and the BSPCB September 7. This was indicative of the fact that its air pollution control devices like fume extractors were not working properly.

During inspection, the effluent treatment plant was found to be non-operational and the area for vehicular movement as well as the internal road was found unpaved. Plantation was done, but it was inadequate and the newly constructed galvanising section had not obtained consent to establish and consent to operate from the BSPCB.

The report informed the NGT that though there was no ground water pollution or noticeable ill-effects on the environment, the unit had no adequate pollution control devices.

The BSPCB served a show cause notice to the unit and imposed an environmental compensation of Rs 740,000.

The NGT directed the BSPCB to take further action to enforce the law. It must enforce assessed compensation and performance guarantee and rectify the deficiencies that had been pointed out.

The BSPCB should also take action against the unit for the illegal extraction of groundwater, the NGT said. 

Illegal shrimp

The district magistrate of Surat October 19 filed an interim report on the unauthorised / illegal shrimp farms and salt pans located in the flood plains of the Kim and Sena rivers in Tena village of the district.

The shrimp farms and salt pans are spread over an area of approximately 5,100 hectares. The task of surveying them to find out the rules violated could not be completed in time due to the prolonged rainy season, adverse field conditions for survey work and the prevailing pandemic situation, the report said.

The remaining work would be completed within the next three months. A complete report on the entire activity including action against the identified illegal shrimp farms and salt pans would be submitted in the final report, the document said.

Delhi mobile tower 

The NGT directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee October 19 to look into the allegation of a mobile tower being installed in the middle of a residential area in Nangloi, Delhi.

It was alleged that the tower was within 100 metres of the residential area and radiation emanating from it was adversely affecting the inhabitants.

Appropriate action in accordance with law in terms of CPCB guidelines on the subject should be taken, if the allegations were found to be true, the NGT order added.

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