Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Dumping of debris of the rocks cut out to establish a statue of Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhanatha, out of the Mangi-Tungi hills in Maharashtra is leading to environmental destruction, the National Green Tribunal was told.
The hills are located in Tahrabad, Nashik. The loose debris is on the forest floor on the slopes and destroying existing flora, according to a report submitted by a district-level committee looking into the issue.
The debris can roll down during the rain and affect the nearby forest floor as well, the panel said. Over seven hectares (ha) of land are affected. Further, it is challenging to remove the debris as it is dumped on a slope.
“If the debris is to be removed from that area, it will adversely affect the adjoining forest area. Hence, there is a possibility of further destruction,” according to the joint committee report filed November 30, 2022.
The boulders can be arrested from rolling by constructing gabion structures on the lower side of the debris area, the committee opined. The panel also recommended recovery of the net present value of the affected land, or 7.31 ha, from the user agency.
The forest department should take up plantation on an equivalent area, or 7.31 ha. The cost of the plantation should be recovered from the user agency as per the existing norms of the forest department, the panel recommended.
Only two nullahs out of 11 carrying wastewater from residential areas in Ajmer, Rajasthan are connected to a sewage treatment plant, stated a report filed before the NGT, December 1, 2022.
A sewage treatment plant of 13 million litres per day was installed in 2014 to treat wastewater generated from household activities of the residential colonies of Ajmer city. Officials of the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) visited the area September 2022 and found only two nullahs are connected with the STP located at Anasagar lake.
The rest of the nullahs are directly discharging wastewater into Anasagar lake without any treatment, stated the report filed before NGT.
RSPCB issued a notice to the Municipal Corporation, Ajmer asking for an action plan to upgrade the STP following an NGT order April 30, 2019. The corporation was also told to make adequate arrangements for providing aeration facilities within the lake.
About 10 per cent of the household sewer connections are still pending and shall be completed by March 2023, officials of the Nagar Nigam, Ajmer informed the NGT. Untreated wastewater will not be discharged into the lake after all households are connected.
Several species of trees and plants have been planted under the project Miyawaki and as per the directions of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), a firm manufacturing sugar in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh, informed the NGT.
Sir Shadi Lal Enterprises has arranged to store biogas generated by the distillery unit’s anaerobic reactor in its condensate polishing unit for the distillery, the firm submitted. The biogas would be burnt through a flare system.
The boundary wall for the dumping yard of fly ash is about 12 feet (3.65 metres) high and the chimney of the distillery unit is 72 m as per the UPPCB norms, the submission further said.
All trollies are fully covered by alkathene sheets or tarpaulin while transporting the fly ash from the industry to the dumping yard. Thus, there is no possibility of it spreading during transportation.
After dumping the fly ash in the dumping yard, water is sprinkled where the ash is dumped to avoid spreading in the air.
Local farmers and others who require the fly ash to fill uneven lands and ditches or to construct roads submit applications for the final dumping of the ash. The people pick up the fly ash from the dumping yard after complying with the conditions and directions provided by Sir Shadi Lal Enterprises, it submitted.
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