Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (December 26, 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: Wednesday 27 December 2023

Coca-Cola bottling company told to take air and water pollution mitigation steps

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed Coca-Cola’s bottler unit, Amrit Bottlers Pvt Ltd, located in Dabhar Semar village, Chandpur Harbans in Ayodhya district of Uttar Pradesh, on December 22, 2023, to ensure that a nano-filtration unit with a capacity of 300 kilolitres per day is installed and commissioned by February 28, 2024. The unit must submit a report on its operationalisation.

The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) and the Uttar Pradesh Ground Water Department were directed to inspect the rainwater harvesting projects installed at 25 locations with a total capacity of 4,98,999 cubic metres, verify Amrit Bottlers’ claim of harvesting more than 150 per cent of rainwater in comparison to groundwater extraction and file a report.

Divisional forest officer, Ayodhya was directed to verify the plantation of 7,000 saplings in 2021-22, 11,000 saplings in 2022-23 and Miyawaki afforestation on 150 square metres (sq m) in 2021-22 by the factory and file a report regarding the survival and maintenance of these trees and plants. 

The bottler unit claimed to have developed a 150 sq m Miyawaki type of jungle at Usroo, Ayodhya with around 600 plants in 2021-22 and a 3,000 sq m Miyawaki type of jungle in Gosaiganj with around 12,000 plants in 2022-23. The Gosaiganj jungle is at a distance of 25 kilometres from the factory premises.

Such plantation should be carried out near the factory premises to mitigate the adverse effects of air and water pollution caused by the unit, the court said. The bottler company was directed to carry out plantation activities in areas near its unit and surrounding nearby areas.

The factory was also directed to carry out corporate social responsibility activities in consultation with the district environment committee headed by the district magistrate of Ayodhya and the divisional forest officer of Ayodhya while keeping a view of the requirements of the residents of the area surrounding the project.

The court also directed them to file action taken reports in this regard within three months. 

Brick kilns in Fatehpur

The NGT on December 21 directed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to disclose the status of the Pehlwan brick kiln at Ajmatpur Bindki, Fatehpur district in UP. The report must be filed before the next date of hearing on February 12, 2024.

The tribunal was hearing the matter of illegal operation of brick kilns, Ajmatpur Bindki, Fatehpur. A general report filed by the UPPCB stated that a total about 490 brick kilns in Fatehpur were identified, out of which two were dismantled, 212 brick kilns were closed by UPPCB and the remaining 276 brick kilns have valid consent to operate.

Allegations of environmental norms in organisation of Tehri Mahotsav

The NGT on December 21, 2023 directed the submission of a report pointing out the violation of environmental norms in the organisation of Tehri Mahotsav, Tehri lake front, Tehri district, Uttarakhand.

The court asked the counsel for the applicant, Kamal Saxena, to submit the report and listed the matter for January 2, 2024.

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