Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (October 7, 2022)

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: Monday 10 October 2022

Penalise contract carriage operators flouting safety norms: Kerala high court

Strict action must be taken against operators of contract carriages and other transport vehicles flouting safety standards and the drivers’ licence should be revoked, directed the Kerala high court October 6, 2022. The certificate of fitness granted to such transport vehicles should also be cancelled by the prescribed authority, the court said.

The matter was taken up following reports of major road accidents in the state involving such vehicles, with people suffering serious injuries. 

The assistant solicitor-general of India was asked to address arguments on behalf of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on the issue. 

The HC was also shown YouTube videos of motor accidents involving contract carriages and use of contract carriages fitted with unauthorised LED / laser / neon lights. 

Justices Anil K Narendran and PG Ajithkumar of the HC said that despite the court's order on January 10, 2022, the enforcement officers under the Transport Commissioner and the police officers are not taking earnest efforts to ensure strict enforcement of the provisions under the Motor Vehicles Act. 

The special government pleader asked for time to get instructions from the transport commissioner on the accident in Anchumoorthy Mangalam in Thrissur district involving a contract carriage carrying students from Mar Baselios School, Mulanthuruthy. 

Action may also be taken against vloggers and others uploading videos on YouTube and other online platforms promoting the use of motor vehicles. The deputy solicitor-general of India has requested for time to get instructions on the same from the secretary, Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Kochi Water Metro Project important

The Kochi Water Metro Project is an essential means of transportation for the residents of island communities around Kochi, especially during floods when other modes of transportation are non-operational, the general manager, Water Transport, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd said in a report to the National Green Tribunal. 

Kochi Metro was assigned the task of executing the urban water transport project on behalf of the government of Kerala, the report stated. It envisages to connect 38 jetties and provide inter-model connectivity between jetties, bus terminals and metro networks across 78 kilometres.

The clearance / no-objection required for construction of boat terminals including High Court and Mattancherry terminals of Kochi Water Metro Project have been obtained from Kochi Municipal Corporation, Kerala State Wetland Authority and Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority. 

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had given its final clearance for the project October 1, 2019.

Furnish information on schemes for elderly welfare: SC to states

The Supreme Court of India directed the states and Union Territories to furnish information on their existing schemes for the welfare of the elderly. These relate to pension for the elderly, old age homes in each district and geriatric care.

The information has to be submitted to the advocate-on-record of the Union of India. After collecting information from all the respective states and the Union Territories within a period of two months, a revised status report should be filed a month thereafter by the Union of India, the apex court directed.

The revised report of the states must also disclose the present status of implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, the SC order added.

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