Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (October 28, 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 28 October 2020

Dhamapur lake

The public works department at Sawantwadi in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district had illegally built a skywalk at Dhamapur lake in the district, according to a compliance affidavit filed by the collector of Sindhudurg before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Despite continuous follow ups, repeated meetings and orders, the department had:

  1. Failed to deposit a fine of Rs 1.5 crore to the state biodiversity fund
  2. Did not start demolition of the illegal structure till October 21, 2020

The collector attached the official bank account of the department to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore, in accordance with the NGT order of October 9, 2020.

Due to the department’s ‘lethargic and negligent attitude’ in implementing orders of the NGT and the collector, a departmental enquiry against it was proposed, after which, efforts were made for the removal of the illegal structure.

Solid waste in Delhi

The NGT October 27 disposed of the application filed by the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) against the NGT order of December 14, 2017.

The order had directed that the land available for commercial buildings with the Delhi government not be developed unless it was provided for solid waste management.

According to the applicant, the direction needed to be vacated. This was because the applicant had got a layout plan approved for setting up a multi-level manufacturing hub according to the Master Plan Delhi-2021, on a plot identified for a sanitary landfill site at Ranikhera.

In the present application, the applicant stated that there was a viable alternative in form of 42.5 acres of the land, which should be considered.

The NGT disposed of the application, stating that the issue of availability of suitable land for solid waste management had to be first sorted out by the chief secretary and the lieutenant governor. If they took a decision on the issue, the DSIIDC could move the court based on it. 

Waste management in Vapi

50 tonnes of waste were generated every day currently within the limits of the Vapi Nagarpalika (municipality), it told the NGT in a reply. Around 65-70 per cent of generated waste was segregated at source, collected and transferred to the material recovery facility. The segregated waste was then sold to authorised recyclers.

Around 33 vehicles collected dry and wet waste and were fitted with GPS, travelling from door to door to collect waste. The municipality had installed a 100 kg wet waste organic waste converter machine. The waste, which was processed in the machine, was used as a compost in the gardens maintained by the municipality and the remaining was sold to residents for their use.

A solid waste plant having a capacity of 100 tonnes per day was in the process of being completed by June 30, 2021. The Vapi Nagarpalika had already initiated the construction of two sewage treatment plants (STP) having capacities of 14 million litres per day (MLD) and 29.5 MLD for the treatment of sewage and foreseeing the expansion of the city in the next 30 years.

There were seven drains in the vicinity of the Vapi municipality. The points where in situ remediation would be carried out were earmarked till the operation of the STPs commenced.

The municipality’s report mentioned that the villages of Chanod, Chharwada, Chandor and Namdha did not come under its jurisdiction.

Sanitation management in GIDC, Vapi

The Notified Area Authority, Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), Vapi in its report to the NGT, said it was supplying clean drinking water to 11 villages free of cost.

Free, filtered water was being supplied in the villages of Chirri, Kochvada, Rata, Namdha, Chanod, Karvad, Dungra, Balitha, Charvada, Chanod and Challa through an underground pipeline network by GIDC. The entire water supply would be taken care of by the Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board from March 31, 2021.

The Vapi area was divided into three parts:

1) Vapi Nagarpalika

2) Vapi GIDC Industrial Area and

3) Vapi Notified Area Authority

While Vapi town was managed by Vapi Nagarpalika, the industrial / commercial and residential belt of GIDC Vapi was within the ambit of Notified Area Authority. The villages, namely Chanod, Charvada, Namdha and Chandor, were village panchayats and had their own mechanism of discharge and solid waste management.

The affidavit dealt with the Vapi GIDC belt comprising 1,117 hectares of land in which 102 hectares was housing area. There was an integrated gravity-based underground pipeline network, created by GIDC for collection of industrial effluent within the GIDC estate. This effluent was taken to the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) for treatment. The CETP is managed by Vapi Green Enviro Ltd.

There were no STPs in the housing area of the Notified Area AUthority currently. However, a proposal had been forwarded for 2 STPs to be commissioned by 2023. The waste generated within the limits of Notified Area Authority, GIDC, was 21 TPD. Around 65-70 per cent of waste generated was segregated at source, collected and transferred to the municipal solid waste site.

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