Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (September 28, 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 28 September 2020

Waste management facility

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) dismissed an appeal filed by the Bainguinim Citizens Forum against the environmental clearance (EC) granted to the Solid Waste Management Facility at Bainguinim taluka in North Goa.

The Goa Waste Management Corporation had granted EC to the facility January 6 for establishment of 250 tonnes per day (TPD) waste management facility.

The appeal stated that the project site was against the siting criteria laid down under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. It claimed the nearest habitation was only 35 meters away from the facility, against the required distance of 200-500 meters.

The NGT in its ruling September 24 said the scientific waste management was needed for protection of the environment. The site in question was identified in 2006 and the land was acquired by the state. The move was upheld by the state High Court.

Buffer zone was maintained and public hearing duly held. There was nothing to show that there was any construction which was pre-existing, when the site was selected. No complaint against violation of EC conditions had been made.

Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sonam Phintso Wangdi of the NGT said the waste management facility was necessary, the site was duly selected, acquisition done and upheld and no fault could be found with the grant of the EC.

Madras Rubber Factory in Usgao

The NGT September 24 said there was no information or material to show that MRF Ltd was violating environmental norms in village Tisk in Goa.

The order came in response to the application filed asking that construction of MRF be halted. Other prayers were to maintain wetlands according to the Wetlands Rules, 2017, by removing the encroachments from the embankment of river Khandepar. The application also sought to demolish a check dam built by MRF near the river.

The state authorities informed the tribunal that there was no violation of the Wetlands Rules or the forest law. The project was not within the buffer zone of any water body and was zero liquid discharge project. It added that it did not contribute to any pollution.

The expansion of the project would also not affect the river or any other wetland, they said. The issue of protection of wetland was being independently dealt with and 10 wetlands around the project in question were likely to be notified as protected wetlands, including the Khandepur river, the NGT was informed.

The NGT dismissed the appeal and said there was no information or material to show any violation of the Wetlands Rules, damage to any water body or violation of environmental norms.

STPP in Khurja

A report was filed by the Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE) before the NGT September 28 in response to a joint committee report on the Supercritical Thermal Power Plant by THDC Ltd in Khurja, Uttar Pradesh.

SAFE had filed an appeal before the NGT against the EC granted by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) March 30, 2017 for the setting up of a coal fired non-mine mouth STPP.

In compliance with the NGT’s December 19, 2019 order, a report was filed by the committee. SAFE claimed the committee’s approach regarding collection and preparation of the report was unscientific.

The SAFE report claimed that the committee failed to refer to Technical Environment Impact Assessment Guidance Manual for thermal power plants to determine the ambient air quality levels. Data furnished by the Committee on ambient air quality was not in terms with Schedule VII of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986.

The committee had not collected baseline attributes for assessing particulate matter (PM) 10 and PM2.5 in terms of the Guidance of Assessment of Baseline Components and Attributes given in Technical Guidance Manual for Thermal Power Plants prepared by MoEF&CC, the report claimed.

Encroachment of green space in Ghaziabad

The NGT directed the district magistrate, Ghaziabad, to take appropriate remedial action regarding encroachment of the green belt, GT Road Industrial Area. The encroachment was in violation of the Master Plan.

An application was filed by Sunil Kumar Sharma about the construction of a building (Udyog Bhawan) on the green belt.

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