Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (August 2, 2023)

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 August 2023

Land in Delhi cleared for infotech hub. 

Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) won a reprieve July 31, 2023 from the Supreme Court of India (SC) that directed the release of a piece of land belonging to DSIIDC at Rani Khera-Mundka, Delhi.

An information technology and services business park was planned at the spot that was stuck in legal hurdles as the plot was reserved for solid waste management.

The appeal was filed by the DSIIDC seeking a vacation of the stay granted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on December 14, 2017. It could not place or award work for building a commercial building on the 147-acre land unless the waste management issue was resolved, the NGT order stated.

DSIIDC has placed on record a note of a meeting held on December 21, 2021. The chief secretary and lieutenant governor of Delhi decided the land in question was not required for waste management and thus could be used for commercial purposes. 

The land is not fit for waste management purposes as it is surrounded by a population of 600,000-700,000 people within 200 metres, the DSIIDC further told the court. The Corporation is not responsible for solid waste management and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has stated the progress made in this regard before the NGT. 

DSIIDC had invested Rs 91.55 crore in a manufacturing hub at the site that would offer employment to 1.5 million people. Both the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) expressed no objection to the release of the land for a hi-tech park for the information technology and services sectors at Rani Khera-Mundka. 

An alternative piece of land has been located at Rani Khera-Mundka for solid waste management by the erstwhile East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), the MCD affidavit said. 

However, the change in land use for a plot allotted to EDMC at Gonda Gujran is still pending by the DDA and requires some priority, the court said, directing DDA to take the necessary action within three months. 

Solid waste management by Amravati Municipal Corporation

The SC, July 31, 2023, directed the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to verify whether the Municipal Corporation of Amravati, Maharashtra has made “substantial compliance” with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016. 

The SC listed the matter on September 22, 2023 for reporting the compliance. 

Garbage dumping yard in Lucknow

The NGT, August 1, 2023 directed a joint committee to look into the matter of garbage dumping near South City Colony, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. 

It directed the constitution of a joint committee, comprising the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, district magistrate for Lucknow and commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Lucknow. The committee was directed to visit the site, look into the grievances of the applicant, “verify the factual position and take appropriate remedial action by following due course of law”, the order said. 

The municipal corporation had created a garbage dumping yard spread over approximately 2,300 square metres close to South City Colony located at Rae Bareli Road, the applicant Chandra Prakash, general secretary of South City Jan Kalyan Samiti, Lucknow, complained. Other residential colonies surround the yard as well. 

Tonnes of garbage and filth, including dead and decaying animals, are collected from the colonies and dumped in the garbage dumping yard in South City Colony, Prakash said. 

The applicant urged the dump be shifted to Shivari Garbage Crushing Plant of Municipal Corporation, Lucknow or elsewhere.

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