Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Environmental impact of ship breaking at Alang
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) filed a report before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the environmental impact of ship-breaking methods at Gujarat’s Alang. The September 17, 2020 report was in compliance with an August 19, 2019 NGT order.
The court directed the MoEF&CC to conduct an audit to ascertain environmental impact due to the beaching method and ship-breaking method used at Alang Ship Recycling Yard and to verify the compliance of the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) notification.
In response to the NGT order, the MoEFC&CC asked the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) to conduct the audit. The NIO submitted its Marine environmental monitoring and verification for compliance of CRZ Notification at Alang Ship Recycling Yard report.
The report was based on the study conducted during February-March to meet the following three objectives:
The report said, in general, the ecology of coastal water of Alang was similar to that of the surrounding area of Bhavnagar and Dahej. It compared well with earlier studies of 2007-08 in Alang area.
The adverse impact of ship-breaking activities on water quality, sediment quality and biological characteristics was not significant, except a certain intertidal region showing high concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHC) and some metals.
Phytoplankton and zooplankton values showed natural variability and were not influenced by ship breaking activities. Influence of ship-breaking activities on intertidal macrobenthic fauna resulting in poor standing stock, was localised at Alang. The results of bio-accumulation suggested concentration of all metals was within the specified values for human consumption, except iron.
The report recommended long-term monitoring to confirm the impact of ship-breaking activities on the ecology of Alang. It noted there was significant improvement in ship-recycling yards with respect to safety, security, health and environment. The living area of most of the ship-breaking workers, however, was poor with respect to infrastructure and sanitisation.
Although, around 70 per cent recycling yards adopted Hong Kong Convention compliance to get green category certificates, many yards needed upgrades to curtail pollution and enhance security.
Illegal mining of dolomite
The NGT September 16 directed recommendations contained in the Central Pollution Control Board report on preventing damage due to mining dolomite at Dundu village at Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand be acted upon.
The report recommended:
Buildings near HTL in Ashwathnagara, Bangalore
A report was filed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on illegal buildings under / near high-tension lines in Bengaluru’s Ashwathnagara area. The report said high-tension lines were across two roads in the western and eastern sides of Thanisandra at Ashwathnagara area.
Along these roads, under high-tension lines, a number of houses, shops and sheds existed. Many of these buildings were constructed before the inclusion of this area to BBMP, that is, on January 2007.
Houses / shops / sheds in these properties did not have sanctioned plans either. Some buildings came up after the area was included under BBMP, without any plan sanctions due to non-availability of khata (account) certificates. These houses / shops / sheds — treated as unlawful buildings — had power supply provided by Bangalore Electricity Supply Co (BESCOM) Ltd.
The executive engineer of BESCOM’s Shivajinagar division, Bengaluru was requested to take immediate and urgent steps in implementing Central Electricity Authority (Measures relating to safety and electric supply) Regulations, 2010 and report back. This was for BBMP to take notice of removal of hutments and public buildings that existed below the high-tension lines, the report said.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.