Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) accepted the request of Uttar Pradesh for the discontinuation of the Oversight Committee. The committee was constituted by the orders of the NGT October 21, 2022 on suggestion of the state itself in its application dated July 16, 2019.
The court was informed that Uttar Pradesh has developed a dedicated UP Environment Compliance Portal for monitoring of various issues in compliance with NGT directions. Further, the access of the portal is given to the chief secretary, state-level monitoring committees and the district-level committee.
The portal has been provided with a ‘dedicated template for online filing of the compliance status to be reviewed at the state level by the state-level committees’.
The committee has monitored compliance of environmental issues in the last three years but now the state itself is in a position to “effectively monitor compliance of all environmental issues by its own mechanism”.
NGT, while accepting the request of the state of Uttar Pradesh, said it has no objection to the request of the state to evolve its own mechanism.
The court directed the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh to interact with the oversight committee for modalities to take over its work by a suitable mechanism, “giving reasonable time to the committee for the transition”.
NGT emphasised that the state must keep in mind that stringent continuing monitoring at the highest level by a credible mechanism is inevitable in view of serious non-compliances being monitored by the court, especially those relating to solid and liquid waste management, pollution of rivers Ganga and Yamuna.
The loading and unloading of clinker at Harduaganj railway station near Satha village in Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh is causing air pollution, stated the joint committee report submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) December 1, 2022.
Clinker is a nodular material produced in the kilning stage during the production of cement and is used as the binder in many cement products.
Applicant Mukesh Kumar Chauhan, in his complaint before the NGT, said JK Cement in village Satha and other companies are getting clinker, required by them for manufacture of cement, transported from Harduaganj railway station near the village. During loading and unloading clinker evaporates, causing damage to the environment and health hazards to the residents.
The NGT directed a committee to verify the claims in an order dated September 5, 2022. The committee carried out an inspection November 10, 2022. It was observed that the clinker was unloaded manually from wagons at Harduaganj railway station, which was then loaded on trucks and transported to two cement plants by JK Cement and Mangalam Cement.
Fugitive emission was observed while unloading and loading of clinker at the station. No permanent system for dust suppression was observed at the railway station and the existing system for fugitive emission control is observed to be inadequate and improper.
Fugitive emission are gases or vapours that escape capturing systems due to faulty equipments, mostly observed due to mishandling of limestone, coal, additives, clinker and cement.
NGT directed the divisional forest officer in Nagore, Rajasthan to look into the matter of illegal cutting of trees. The order was in reference to an application that cited two instances, one in 2018 when trees were cut from Makrana to Maglana road and the other in 2021, when trees were cut near Makrana bus stand and Ghati Chouraha near Masjid.
The court directed the divisional forest officer to take remedial action, including plantation of trees in forest and non forest areas and their protection, according to the rules.
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