Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Adi Ganga river pollution
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on September 20, 2019 directed the chief secretary of West Bengal to stop all illegal constructions on Adi Ganga river.
Amicus curiae Subhas Dutta informed the tribunal that bridges were being constructed on the Adi Ganga river at different places, namely, KaliGhat Temple, near Karunamayee and Garia markets.
The court was also informed about the work of filling and reclamation of Adi Ganga for widening the road near Karunamayee market.
The tribunal, expressing its dissatisfaction at the pace of the case going on since 2015, asked the chief secretary to submit a report within two weeks.
Maradu flat demolition
File an affidavit containing a “concrete plan” for the demolition of flats at Maradu in Ernakulam on or before September 27, the Supreme Court on September 23 ordered the chief secretary, Kerala.
No permission was obtained from the Coastal Zone Management Authority before the construction of these flats, said the apex court. It stated that the order for demolition was passed considering the importance of the coastal zones and the need to preserve such areas.
The court also ordered the state to list all such illegal constructions, which are in “violation of the notification issued by the Coastal Regulation Zone Authority”.
“Owing to such violation of law at various places, huge devastation has already been taken place in the State of Kerala in the year 2018 with colossal loss of human life and the property,” read the order.
Buildings in Jharkhand lack EC
Various buildings in cities of Jharkhand — Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Deogarh — lack the mandatory environmental clearance (EC) as stated under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, the NGT was informed in an application.
The buildings include Jharkhand High Court Building, Jhakahand legislature, P&M Hi-Tech City Centre Mall, Jamshedpur, Vijaya Garden Homes and Aastha Twin City.
In an earlier order, dated September 2, the tribunal constituted a committee comprising of the representative of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) at Ranchi and the representative of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Jharkhand to verify the application.
The affidavit filed by the member secretary, SEIAA, Jharkhand indicated that Jharkhand legislature building has been raised without environmental clearance and that proposal for EC has been submitted to MoEF&CC on September 2017.
With respect to other structures, further time has been requested by the member secretary, SEIAA, Jharkhand, the NGT said on September 23.
The court granted eight weeks of time to SEIAA, while making it clear that the time would not be extended further. In the case, where violation is proved the project proponent would be liable to pay environmental compensation.
Water pollution in Coimbatore
The NGT on September 20 asked the chief secretary of Tamil Nadu to look into the matter of pollution of lakes and water bodies in Coimbatore.
It was alleged that the lakes and water bodies in Coimbatore and other places were not being properly maintained.
The tribunal had earlier sought a report from the secretary of Irrigation Department of Tamil Nadu. Despite many adjournments and reminders no report was submitted, the court said.
The NGT has now asked the chief secretary to file a proper report before November 4, 2019.
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