Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (August 10, 2022)

Down To Earth brings you top environmental cases heard in Supreme Court, high courts and National Green Tribunal  

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 10 August 2022
Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (June 7, 2022)

River sand mining site in Uttar Pradesh village is crocodile habitat

A site with environmental clearance for river sand mining in Uttar Pradesh's Jalaun district is the nesting site for crocodiles, an appellant has submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT). 

The appellant, Ghanai, objected to a joint report filed by the Jalaun district magistrate and UP's State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). 

NGT was hearing a plea over the environmental clearance granted by SEIAA, UP, for proposed river sand or morrum mining at village Nandha. The permission was granted December 3, 2021 to M/s RNS Pvt Ltd for 8.5 hectares of area. 

The joint committee report makes it clear that the project proponent has not yet obtained consent to operate from the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Ghanai told NGT. 

The primary survey of flora and fauna study as per the Environmental Clearance (EC) terms and conditions had not been conducted, he said. Compliance reports of general conditions and specific conditions of EC have not been submitted either.  

The joint committee report does not address the two primary grievances raised in the appeal: The leased area is a crocodile habitat and the EC had been obtained by concealing the above facts, alleged the appellant. A crocodile nesting area can not be disturbed under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

The site in question is a rocky terrain with an insufficient volume of mineable minerals, claimed Ghanai, who is a Jalaun resident. This may give rise to the probability of illegal mining from the appellant's agricultural land, which is adjacent to the proposed site, he told NGT. 

The chief wildlife warden of the Uttar Pradesh government should be directed to ascertain whether crocodiles are using the proposed mining site for nesting, pled Ghanai. 

‘Road alignment should be changed to protect Almora village water source’

The alignment of a proposed road will have to be changed to protect a water source at an Almora village in Uttarakhand, the state government and Public Works Department (PWD), Dehradun submitted to NGT. 

A joint committee of Uttarakhand government and PWD had filed an action-taken report August 9, 2022 over the construction of a 21-kilometre road. Of the total length around 2 km of it has been constructed. NGT is examining whether the road will affect a nullah (water source) in village Malia Dhadharia in tehsil Salt Khumad. 

The proposed alignment of the road placed it 20 metres above the said nullah. The joint committee suggested changing the alignment of the road to protect the source; however, it would increase the length of the proposed road by around 200 metres. 

PWD also submitted that sanctions would be required from the competent authority for the new alignment. A survey for this is being conducted by the executive engineer of the provincial division, PWD, Ranikhet. 

Consent for acquiring the land from villagers will also be taken, the department said. After receiving the consent, the approval for the new alignment as suggested by the survey will be taken from the competent PWD authority.  

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