Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Kali Nadi, Krishni and Hindon river pollution
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on October 21, 2019 directed Uttar Pradesh government to continue with the necessary steps in the matter of pollution in Kali Nadi, Krishni and Hindon rivers, which was causing diseases and deaths of inhabitants of the area.
The court ordered that the measures should be overseen by a committee and the process of tender, detailed project reports (DPR) and other procedures reduced by using the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal.
The tribunal had, in its order of August 8, 2018 after going through various studies, said that there was contamination of groundwater and “more than 71 persons died from cancer and more than 47 persons are bedridden in the Gagnoli village in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district.”
Industries like sugar mills, distilleries, paper mills, electroplating, slaughter houses, wet blue hides and others were polluting the water in these rivers. A monitoring committee constituted by the tribunal was informed that 124 industries were not meeting the standards.
The court, on September 20, 2019, noted water supply was made available in 41 of 148 villages, but approval of DPR was pending for several projects.
Further, the tribunal found that the information with regard to the health surveys and water supply to all the affected areas was not adequate and the estimated date for completion of the actions for treatment of sewage gap in the river was too long.
Accordingly, the NGT directed the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh to look into the matter, take action against erring officers and ensure remedial action in terms of augmenting water supply to the affected villages.
It also asked the chief secretary to examine the possibility of sending a high powered committee to the area for expediting approvals.
A report, submitted by the chief secretary on October 20, 2019, stated that requisite steps have been taken on the subject of water supply to the affected areas and till then drinking water would be supplied through tankers. Persons affected health wise would be treated in “higher referral specialised hospitals”.
Further, compensation of Rs 2.75 crores has been recovered and till the defaulting units pay the assessed compensation, their consent to operate would not be renewed.
In its order on October 21, the court ruled that the use of land covered by the legacy waste has to be explored for sewage treatment plants/waste processing plants/ green belts/ bio-diversity parks, “if the use is otherwise permissible under the relevant environmental law.”
Plastic use by Amazon and Flipkart
The NGT on October 22 directed the Central Pollution Control Board to submit a status report on the complaint of excessive use of plastic packaging materials by e-commerce platforms Amazon.in and Flipkart.com.
It was in violation of ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, according to the complainant.
Stone crushers in Bharatpur district
The NGT on October 22 directed the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the district magistrate of Bharatpur to look into the matter of 25 crushers operating illegally in Aipur Kalahar Ghatri village.
Appropriate action should be taken in accordance with law and a report must be submitted within a month, the order said.
Pollution by red category industries in Delhi
The NGT on October 21 took up the matter of red category industries located in Delhi's Bawana Industrial Area, Mayapuri Industrial Area, Uttam Nagar and Khyala that were discharging pollutants into the ambient air, water and soil.
The court was informed that use of chemicals by dye factories, and the discharge of effluents was affecting the health of the inhabitants.
The report filed by the CPCB, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the concerned district magistrates had stated that requisite remedial action was taken and compensation assessed for violations.
In response to the action taken, the tribunal disposed of the application while directing that the assessed compensation should be recovered in accordance with law.
Use of diesel generator sets in Indirapuram
The NGT on October 22 expressed its satisfaction at the action taken against the use of diesel generators by Presidium School and Indirapuram Habitat Centre, which was causing air and noise pollution.
Further, diesel was being stored in painting drums in open, which was life threatening.
The Ghaziabad Development Authority and the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board had submitted a report, which acknowledged the violations and stated that necessary statutory action has been initiated for closure and recovery of compensation.
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