Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (August 17, 2022)

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

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 17 August 2022

Replace plastic drinking water bottles: Madras HC to Centre

The Madras High Court asked the central government to find an effective alternative for plastic bottles for drinking purposes in all public places.

Drinking water packaging was among the several problems covered by the HC in its directions to curtail the use of plastics in food packaging. 

The bench of justices S Vaidyanathan and PT Asha of the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to file a detailed status report as to:

  • How drinking water is prepared
  • How water cans are cleaned up
  • The life span of water cans
  • How many days water is stored in water cans and 
  • The mechanism being followed for destruction of water cans

The state government should indicate as to whether records are maintained with regard to the above. Further, the state government should also file a detailed report as regards supply of milk in bottles / tetrapacks, by obtaining suggestions from AAVIN (major milk supplier in Tamil Nadu).

Solid waste management in Haryana, Chandigarh

A total of 807 bulk waste generators need to construct wet waste processing facilities on their premises, according to the 7th report of the solid waste monitoring committee for Haryana and Chandigarh. The committee was constituted by the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to look into the issue of compliance of Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2016 in the two states. 

The urban local bodies (ULB) of Haryana should identify bulk waste generators and issue necessary directions. Agreements should be made with respective ULPs for collection, transportation and processing of dry waste scientifically at materials recovery facility sites with suitable user charges to be paid to ULBs. 

In the cluster-based approach of solid waste management in Haryana, 14 suitable sites for setting up of solid waste processing plants under 13 clusters have been identified. Out of them, two are waste-to-energy clusters namely Sonepat-Panipat (700 tonnes per day) and Gurugram-Faridabad (2,300 tonnes per day). 

As many as 13 suitable sites out of the 14 required for setting up of solid waste processing facilities and regional sanitary landfill facilities have been procured.

Stop death of young children due to state negligence: Orissa HC 

Orissa High Court ordered district collectors to ensure strict compliance of Supreme Court directions to prevent accident-related child deaths. The nature of the accidents include falling in borewells, tubewells and so on.

The High Court judgment was in response to a petition filed by the Madhav Soren, whose seven-year-old girl was crushed to death by the collapse of a kitchen side wall in the premises of Kolhabeda Ashram School, Ghasipura block, Keonjhar district. 

The court noted that deaths of young children “appear to be in the pattern of several similar instances in the schools in Odisha”. 

The court was approached several times in the past with similar cases.  

On July 9, 2012, seven children under five years of age died after a wall of the Anganwadi Centre at Nelia Upper Primary Centre at Suansia in Nayagarh district fell on them.

On September 7, 2011, a four-year-old girl fell into the main water channel in Sutahat area of Cuttack city while attending a local pre-school and died. 

In the latest case, it was brought to the attention of the court that the negligence of the state authorities in using defective materials to construct the school kitchen led to the incident. The responsibility for death, thus, rests with the state, according to the plaintiff. 

The HC held that the parents of the deceased children were entitled to compensation due to negligence on the part of the state functionaries and that the state was liable to pay compensation. 

The court ruled that the death would not have occurred if all the safety measures, that were instructed to be put in place by the state, had been strictly followed and directed the state of Odisha to pay the deceased girl’s father a sum of Rs 10 lakh as compensation. 

The Supreme Court had issued an order regarding ‘measures for Prevention of Fatal Accidents of Small Children due to their falling into abandoned bore wells and tube wells Vs Union of India’  August 6, 2010. 

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