Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (December 4, 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: Tuesday 05 December 2023

SC pulls up Bhopal municipal corporation for flouting Solid Waste Management Rules

There is non-compliance with the provision of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation, the Supreme Court observed December 1, 2023 after going through the affidavit filed by the corporation. Council for the Bhopal Municipal Corporation sought time to file a better affidavit giving better details and particulars.

The SC said that after a better affidavit is filed by the municipal corporation, an “appropriate expert agency” should be engaged to verify the correctness of the stand taken by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation regarding compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The SC granted two months time to the Bhopal Municipal Corporation to file a better affidavit.

The SC warned that no further time will be granted and directed the matter to be listed for February 23, 2024.

NGT notice to Delhi Jal Board and Delhi Development Authority for rainwater harvesting systems

Notices were issued to the Delhi Jal Board and Delhi Development Authority, among others, for non-compliance of court directions on installation of rainwater harvesting systems (RWHS) in Delhi by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) December 1.

Notices were also issued to the Public Works Department, Delhi; Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA); New Delhi Municipal Council; South Delhi Municipal Corporation; Central Ground Water Authority and Delhi Pollution Control Committee.

The respondents have been directed to file compliance reports at least one week before the next date of hearing February 12, 2024.

The execution application has been filed by the applicant Mahesh Chandra Saxena seeking compliance of the National Green Tribunal order dated September 11, 2019.

NGT, in that order, had directed that RWHS should not be installed close to stormwater drains to avoid contamination of groundwater in the process of recharging the groundwater from the RWHS. 

The NGT directions passed on September 11, 2019 included: Piezometers should be installed near RWHS for monitoring of ground water level and water quality of recharged water. Separators should be installed to separate pollutants before recharging. Depth of the borewells should be at least 5 metres above the Static Water Table. Deficient RWHS must be closed.

The submission of counsel for the applicant is that none of the above directions have been complied with.

Ganga Protection Committee, Darbhanga

With respect to tributaries of River Ganga flowing from Darbhanga district in Bihar, the Municipal Commissioner, Darbhanga Nagar Nigam reported that no dump site nor any legacy waste point exists near Bagmati river

The deputy-general manager, Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA), has stated that there is no discharge of effluents into any river from any unit of any industrial area of BIADA in Darbhanga.

This was stated in the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the District Ganga Protection Committee, Darbhanga, Bihar in compliance of the National Green Tribunal order dated September 18, 2023.

River Ganga is approximately 55-60 kilometres away from Darbhanga district. 

Further, the divisional forest officer of Mithila Forest Division reported that plantation activities are undertaken on the banks of the tributaries of river Ganga in Mithila Forest Division every year under Jal Jeevan Hariyali Scheme and CAMPA scheme. The report published December 1 said that "there is no possibility of shifting of river Ganga from its original / old course within the district".

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