Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (September 3, 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: Thursday 03 September 2020

Biomedical waste management in Madhya Pradesh

The total biomedical waste generated from all healthcare facilities in Madhya Pradesh was approximately 17.8 tonnes per day (TPD), of which 17.6 TPD (98.8 per cent) was being treated. This was mentioned in a report filed by the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and uploaded to the court’s website September 3, 2020.

There were 12 common biomedical waste treatment and disposal facilities (CBWTF) operating through a cluster approach in the state.

All CBWTF operators were required to transport biomedical waste from the source of generation to their facility. The total installed capacity of CBWTFs was 40.8 TPD, while the volume of waste collected and treated in these facilities was 17.6 TPD.

All vehicles used for the collection of biomedical waste were Global Positioning System-enabled. The state was maintained a strict vigil on the handling of biomedical waste by taking regular action against defaulting healthcare facilities under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

Eighty-four prosecutions were filed against violators till date. All 12 CBWTF operators had online continuous emission monitoring systems installed, according to the report.

No meaningful progress in waste management in Ghaziabad: NGT

The NGT expressed its disapproval at the allegedly complacent attitude of authorities in dealing with waste management in Uttar Pradesh’s Indirapuram, Vasundhara and Vaishali areas.

The issue for consideration was non-compliance of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. Garbage from the areas was dumped at a garbage dump in Ghaziabad’s Shakti Khand area, adversely affecting air quality there. It was alleged there was a garbage fire at Shakti Khand October 20, 2017. Waste was not segregated and non-degradable waste was not being recycled.

The matter was considered on several occasions in light of reports submitted to the NGT by concerned statutory authorities. It was found there was no scientific management of garbage, resulting in damage to the environment and public health.

A report was filed August 28 by the Ghaziabad’s district magistrate that did not show any meaningful progress. Another report was filed by the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam August 27 that merely referred to some paperwork, the NGT said in its September 2 order.

The tribunal ordered for meaningful steps to be taken by statutory authorities expeditiously and a compliance report filed as well. It requested an oversight Committee — headed by former Allahabad High Court judge SVS Rathore — to look into the matter and give its independent report. The case was listed again for January 19, 2021.

Stone crusher

The Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) in its report to the NGT said Mahadeva Stones Co, located in Alwar district’s Ramgarh tehsil was found to be environmentally compliant in the last inspection.

The RSPCB in an earlier inspection of the stone crusher March 16 found the unit not environmentally compliant. It then issued a show-cause notice to the stone crusher for intended revocation of consent to operate and sent closure directions under section 31A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

RSPCB officials again visited the unit June 16 and observed the unit rectified deficiencies of pollution control measures, with emission levels of suspended particulate matter in the ambient air also within control.

Illegal mining in Sagar

The NGT directed the MPPCB to file a report on action taken against an illegal stone crusher in Sagar district’s Pamakhedi village by October 19. The order was in pursuance to an application alleging illegal mining at Lidhorahat and other surrounding villages. The illegal mining was said to be responsible for roads being damaged and causing a health hazard for residents.

A joint committee constituted to look into the matter said one stone crusher in Pamakhedi village was established to operate without the consent of MPPCB. A closure direction was issued to the unit under the provisions of the Air Act, 1981. The unit was closed and electricity supply to the unit was terminated as well.

The NGT directed the MPPCB to take necessary action for calculation of environmental compensation and take necessary steps to recover this in accordance with the law.

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