Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
African catfish farming
There was no farming of African catfish in the district of Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu and all effective action would be taken to destroy the new African Catfish farms, if any, found by the district administration in future, a report by the district collector to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), said.
An application was filed in the NGT alleging that illegal farming of African catfish also known as 'African magur', was taking place in Krishnagiri district. This activity was banned under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. The said farming involved feeding of chicken and egg wastes to African catfish, causing foul smell and water pollution.
In pursuance to the NGT order of October 22, 2019, the district administration formed nine inspection teams on December 5, 2019, consisting of officials of the fisheries, police, rural development and revenue departments — to identify the prohibited African catfish farms and to destroy such stocks immediately.
The teams carried out inspection of all fish ponds in the entire district from December 7-23, 2019. They identified 259 prohibited African catfish farms and destroyed all such stocks in the district — as reported by the assistant director of fisheries, Krishnagiri district, dated December 24, 2019.
The report was uploaded to the NGT site on August 25, 2020.
The Supreme Court (SC) on August 25 directed that appropriate action be taken and a report submitted on the issue of an entire Aravalli hillock being flattened to build an approach road for farmhouses in Bandhwari village, around 1.5 kilometres off the Gurgaon-Faridabad road.
Anil Grover, additional advocate general, appearing on behalf of the state of Haryana, assured the SC that proper action would be taken to stop further damage.
The district magistrate and police authorities must take suitable action on the issue, the SC said.
Delhi scrapping units
The NGT directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to look into allegations of scrapping units, that were earlier sealed, being de-sealed.
An application was filed by the Society for Alternative Fuel and Environment (SAFE) before the NGT against de-sealing of scrapping units operating illegally in the Mayapuri industrial area of Delhi, which were earlier sealed in pursuance of the tribunal’s orders.
The applicant pointed out that the tribunal had issued directions in Original Application 807/2018 for remedial action against the illegal operation of vehicle scrapping units in Mayapuri, that led to the sealing of certain units.
The said units had been de-sealed later. The applicant had also found other sites where illegal scrapping units were still functioning. The geo tag locations of the same had been given in the application that indicated scrapping units to be operating in Nilothi, Mangol Puri, Burari and Tikri border.
The NGT asked the DPCC to take remedial action in accordance with law and file a report before January 6, 2021.
Mirzapur brass unit
The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) in its report to the NGT said M /s Bhawani Rolling Job Works located in Baheliya Ki Gali, Ganeshganj city, Mirzapur did not have the requisite consent to establish and consent to operate.
During inspection, it was noted that the unit was using firewood as fuel for the tappai bhatti or furnace. Around 600 kg of wood per day was being used. The unit had not installed an air pollution control system and stack on the tappai bhatti to control flue gas emission. The unit was located in a densely populated area of Mirzapur city, with a school to its south.
The committee recommended that the unit should strictly comply with the order of UPPCB. The district administration of Mirzapur must ensure that the unit did not operate in the densely populated area.
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