Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (September 14, 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: Monday 14 September 2020

No sewage disposal without treatment in Kot Khurd: NGT to PPCB

The Punjab Pollution Control Board’s (PPCB) decision permitting discharge of wastewater / effluent in a pond at Kot Khurd village, Jalandhar violated the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, said the National Green Tribunal (NGT) September 11, 2020.

“Discharge of wastewater in pond cannot be without treatment to avoid contamination of groundwater, which needs to be ensured by the State PCB,” the order said.

The court asked a committee headed by Justice Jasbir Singh, a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to oversee this aspect. Singh has been appointed to look into certain environmental issues in Punjab.

A factual and action-taken report was sought from the PPCB through a March 4 NGT order with reference to the allegation of non-removal of dirty sludge and sewage water from the residential area at village Kot Khurd.

Accordingly, the PPCB filed its report September 1 that said the Panchayati Raj department took a decision on the matter. The decision involved preparing a plan for connecting the sewage line for flow of entire effluent of the village to the pond, situated on the outskirts of the village.

Tuni Chandni motorable road construction

It wass alleged that unscientific disposal of stones and muck generated from the construction of the Tuni Chandi motorable road in Chakrata, Dehradun district, was dumped in a forest area, according to the applicant Darshan Tika Ram Dobhal. The matter was heard by a bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sonam Phintso Wangdi of the NGT September 11.

The Uttarakhand Public Works Department — responsible for the construction of the road — did not adhere to necessary safeguards, resulting in environmental damage. The applicant also submitted photographs and copies of complaints filed with the authorities.

The NGT directed the furnishing of a factual and action-taken report from the principal chief conservator of forest, Uttarakhand and the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board. The matter was listed before the court again on December 8.

NGT seeks MPPCB report on Grasim Chemicals

The NGT reprimanded the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) for the delay in submitting a report over the allegation of pollution caused by Grasim Chemical Division Ltd, Birlagram, Ujjain district. It was said there was contamination of water and damage to the environment and public health.

The NGT noted that even after a year and reminders, no report was furnished by the MPPCB and directed its member secretary to remain present with the report before the NGT on October 12.

Encroachment of green spaces in Meerut

The NGT September 11 directed the Meerut Development Authority (MDA) to take further action against illegal encroachments, preferably within three months. The resultant action-taken report must be submitted to the oversight committee constituted by the NGT and headed by Justice SVS Rathore, former judge of the Allahabad High Court by December 31. Thereafter, the matter will be monitored by the committee.

An application was filed before the court by one Ajay Kumar over the encroachment of land reserved for a park and open spaces at Khaduli, Baghpat road over proposed bridges and bus stands at National Highway-58, Meerut by-pass, Modipuram by-pass to Khirwa Road and at Bhola road, village Sudpur.

An action-taken report on the matter was filed by the district Magistrate, Meerut, MDA municipal commissioner, Meerut and Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB).

The report informed the tribunal that MDA took action against the unauthorised construction in different areas along with the areas proposed for parks, open spaces and green belt in Meerut
Master Plan 2021 by issuing 255 notices.

Submit report on Kotila-Gawad-Suraikhet motorable road: NGT

Acting on a complaint of environmental norms being violated in the construction of Kotila-Gawad-Suraikhet motorable road in Dwarahat tehsil in Almora district, Uttarakhand, the NGT September 11 called for a factual and action-taken report. The principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF), Uttarakhand and the state pollution control board would be responsible for the report, the NGT said.

The court directed the PCCF to be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance and ordered for the report to be furnished within two months. It was alleged a large number of trees were being damaged during the construction of the road and no remedial action was taken despite complaints lodged with the authorities.

The road is being constructed by the Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation through Kaira Construction Firm. The applicant, Jagdish Chandra Pandey, also furnished photographs and copies of complaints.

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