Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Effluent treatment plant at Vapi
Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) must monitor and maintain a strict vigil over the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) at Vapi, in Valsad district of Gujarat, ordered the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on October 1, 2019.
Vapi, an industrial town situated near the banks of river Damanganga has been in the news for the severe industrial pollution and is one of the critically polluted areas in India.
The inlet and outlet norms as prescribed under the rules of the GPCB should be followed for the CETP, the NGT said.
Stone crushing unit
A stone crushing unit in Ghutewadi village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra is falling within the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) demarcated for the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, the NGT was informed on October 1, in an application.
It alleged that the plant is run mostly at night and is located near to a school and agricultural lands. It is also causing severe air pollution, the application stated.
A report filed by joint committee, comprising of the regional officer of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, the district collector and the divisional forest officer of Ahmednagar, also affirmed the presence of crushing unit within the limits of ESZ of the sanctuary.
The tahasildar of Shrigonda municipal council in Ahmednagar issued a show cause notice to the unit asking why the stone crushing unit should not be closed down and the “land in question not restored to its original agricultural use as it falls within the limits of the ESZ.”
The tribunal was informed that after hearing from the unit, further action would be taken.
The joint committee has also been asked to submit a further action taken report indicating the result of the hearing granted by the tahasildar and also mention the authority which had given permission to establish the unit in the ESZ.
Waste facility in Juna Deesa village
The authorisation granted to a waste processing facility by the GPCB to operate at Survey No 727/-P/1 of Juna Deesa village in Banas Kantha district was challenged before the NGT.
It is alleged that the facility measuring around 10 acres does not fulfil the criteria mandated under Schedule-I of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
Further, the authorisation given by the GPCB was defective as the mandatory environment clearance under the Environmental Impact Assessment notification and consent to establish under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, was not present, the NGT was informed.
The NGT on October 1 directed notice to be issued and gave November 21, 2019 as the next date of hearing.
Construction at Khandi-Bandoi
The NGT on October 1 directed the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) to look into the matter regarding the illegal construction of buildings at Khandi-Bandoi, Cavelossim and Salcete in Goa.
It was alleged that water bodies were filled up with mud and the construction was polluting river Sal and destroying the natural water channels, fishing ponds and paddy fields.
The case first came before the tribunal on May 2014 and subsequently many orders were passed from time to time.
On April, 2019 the tribunal was informed that 80 per cent of the project was stated to have been completed and since much time had lapsed during the intervening period, it was felt necessary to seek a report on the present status of the project and the latest factual position.
A committee was thus constituted comprising Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, GCZMA, Goa State Pollution Control Board and Water Resources Department, Goa government.
The committee reported that of the 35 villas, 28 villas have been constructed beyond the NDZ areas of Sal river and is yet to be completed. The rest of the activities appear to be within the applicable norms except in certain cases, where modifications have been made to the project.
Such modifications and changes which were approved by Town and Country Planning (TCP) without obtaining permission from GCZMA meant violation of Coastal Regulation Zone rules. The NGT also directed the GCZMA to take appropriate decisions in accordance with law within three months.
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