Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (August 23, 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 23 August 2022
Down To Earth brings you top environmental cases heard in Supreme Court, high courts & National Green Tribunal

Clarify use of biodegradable kite strings, says Delhi HC 

The high court in the national capital has asked the Delhi government to clarify whether biodegradable kite strings fall under the purview of a government notification dated January 10, 2017. 

The notification banned the sale, production, storage and supply of kite flying threads made out of nylon and plastic or any other synthetic material (Chinese manja).

Delhi government was also directed to inform the “maximum permissible tensile strength” of the kite flying threads.

A petition has been filed in the high court by Hathkargah Laghu Patang Udyog Samiti, an association which produces and sells cotton kite flying strings. It uses natural adhesives such as rice and eggs, the Samiti submitted, claiming the product is completely biodegradable. 

The petitioner said although their product does not fall within the “rigours of the impugned notification”, there is an apprehension that government officials concerned would use coercive steps against the petitioner.

Plant to treat effluents approved for tannery units in Kanpur 

A common effluent treatment plant (CETP) with a capacity to process 20 million litres per day (MLD) has been approved by National Mission for Clean Ganga. The CETP, worth Rs 554 crore, will help improve the treatment capacity of existing tannery units of Jajmau, Kanpur. 

A report was submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB). A special purpose vehicle of tannery units and district administration has also been formed, the pollution body informed NGT. 

Environmental compensation (EC) of Rs 2.90 crore has been imposed against 259 tanner units for defaulting against green norms. Compensation of Rs 1.01 crore has been deposited by 215 units, said the report. 

Jajmau Tannery Effluent Treatment Association (JTETA) is headed by district magistrate, Kanpur Nagar, UP. UPPCB is regularly monitoring the status of tapping of drains and functioning of sewage treatment plants in Jajmau and Kanpur, it told NGT. 

The body has prosecuted four officials of UP Jal Nigam under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 in Special Court (Air and Water Pollution Control) Lucknow. 

The officials had allegedly not ensured complete tapping of 26 drains of Kanpur Nagar through sewage treatment plants. The discharge of treated sewage from a STP of 5 MLD capacity and another of 130 MLD capacity at Jajmau was also not monitored. 

Further, UPPCB has prosecuted M/s Kanpur River Management Pvt Ltd and its directors under Water Act, 1974 in special court for not achieving the discharge standards by 130 MLD STP at Jajmau Kanpur.

A certificate for recovery of EC has been issued by the district administration against 34 units so that the consent to operate is renewed only after deposition of the due amount. 

The NGT hearing took place on August 18, 2022 and the report was uploaded on the site on August 23, 2022.   

Illegal stone crushers in Rajmahal Hills of Vindhya mountains

Mere dismantling of conveyor belt of stone crushers has not resulted in any effective action to prevent illegal stone crushing in Jharkhand, a report in the NGT has stated. 

A report regarding stone crushing in Rajmahal Hills of Vindhya mountains, Sahebganj, was submitted by a joint committee August 22, 2022. The operators and owners of the units have started operating the same unit by repairing the dismantled part of the crushers.

Ambient air qualities are not meeting the stipulated norms at any of the monitored locations for particulate matter (PM) 10. The standards for fine particulate matter, PM 2.5, was being met at only  Mahadeobaran, Mirzachowki and Talbanna

The joint committee was composed of officials from the Central Pollution Control Board, Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board and district collector of  Sahebganj.

Identifying unknown victims of road accidents: UIDAI asked to file reply

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been told to submit a reply in a petition on the issue of identification of deceased victims of road accidents on the basis of characteristics in the Central Identities Data Repository.

The order, by a bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and Anish Dayal, was issued on a reference from the presiding officer of Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal.

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