Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (September 6, 2022)

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: Tuesday 06 September 2022

NHAI told to do afforestation within 10 km of trees cut

The forest clearance for constructing a section of National Highway-352W near Gurugram-Pataudi Rewari is subject to the requirement of afforestation within 10 kilometres from the place from which trees are cut, the National Green Tribunal directed. 

Finding suitable land will be the responsibility of the proponent for the 4/6 lane project, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), subject to the approval of the forest department. 

The project proponent will not be allowed to proceed with the project if this mandatory condition is not followed up, NGT said. 

NHAI must plan afforestation along the roadside in all its future projects at the planning stage itself, creating a strip with appropriate width of plantation to offset road dust pollution, the bench comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sudhir Agarwal said. 

Regulate water withdrawals from Mussoorie lake: NGT

NGT has directed the constitution of a five-member joint committee to ensure that water withdrawal from the catchment area of Mussoorie lake is regulated. The panel will be headed by the chairman of the Uttarakhand Pay Jal Sansthan. 

Consent is to be regulated “only to the extent of availability of water with a commercial establishment from water harvesting or recycled wastewater or water supplied by the Jal Sansthan,” the tribunal told the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board. 

The pollution body was also asked to ensure no hotel drew water from springs flowing into the lake without strict regulation. However, this will consider the extent of availability and priority for water availability for drinking purposes for the inhabitants.

Encroachment on river beds near Amarnath caves: NGT notice to J&K chief secy 

Chief secretary for Jammu and Kashmir and J&K Pollution Control Board was directed by NGT to file their response about the plan of action to prevent pilgrims from setting up tents in the dry river bed near Amarnath, J&K.

In a petition, Brinda Mishra told NGt that 16 people lost their lives on July 1, 2022, due to flash floods in the vicinity of the Amarnath caves.

The river bed and floodplain have to be kept free for environmental functions and also to avoid such accidents, NGT was told. 

No cruelty to camels while transporting: Delhi HC

There can be no violations of the animal cruelty Act while transporting camels in the future for Republic Day parade or any other purpose, the high court of Delhi said. 

It must be ensured that the “statutory provisions as contained in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 are not violated” while transporting camels, said the order. The amendment to Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (The Transport of Animals) Rules, 2020 provide the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the transport of camels. 

The central government, the Animal Welfare Board of India, the Union ministry of road transport and highways, and the Border Security Force shall ensure strict compliance of the SOP read with the rules governing the field in the matter of transport of camels, the court said.

Scouts and Guides for Animals and Birds had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), drawing the high court’s attention that camels were transported to Delhi from Rajasthan in violation of the statutory provisions as contained under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. 

Every year during the Independence Day Parade, a large number of camels are transported in goods carriers, subjecting them to cruelty, the plea said.

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