Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (February 13, 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 14 February 2023

Floodplain zones of Ghaggar

The process of demarcating the floodplain zones of the Ghaggar in Panchkula district, Haryana, is under process, said the state’s irrigation and water resources department in its report submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on February 13, 2023.

The department surveyed the whole area of the floodplain and obtained the requisite sajra plan (village map) from the revenue department.

Demarcation on Sajra plan will be done within seven days and the file pertaining to the notification of the floodplain zone will be sent to the government, the report stated.

The department informed the tribunal that construction and demolition waste from Ghaggar plain has been lifted and disposed of with the help of the district administration and other government bodies.

The municipal commissioner has been asked to stop the further dumping of such materials on the banks of river Ghaggar by installing CCTV cameras, issue of notices and challans and deploying a workforce.

Flooding of the Ghaggar also came into the Supreme Court scanner several times last year.

The Supreme Court, in November, had directed the governments of Punjab and Haryana to take concrete steps to resolve the problem of floods due to the overflowing of river Ghaggar.

The river’s annual flooding has impacted farmlands and properties in more than 25 villages in the two states.

Air quality

The state pollution control boards (SPCB) of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana have submitted their State Action Plans (SAP) under National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), said Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in its status report submitted to the NGT February 8.

The CPCB report was in response to an NGT order dated January 20. CPCB has reviewed the plans and shared its observations with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and respective states.

SAP from Tamil Nadu is awaited. Kerala and Puducherry do not have any non-attainment cities, hence not covered under NCAP, the report stated.

Disaster management plan

The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has directed seven cold storage units for potatoes in the Hathras district to submit a disaster management plan immediately.

Cold storage units should not operate without a disaster management plan for ammonia gas leakage, said CPCB in its report submitted to the NGT February 6.

UPPCB recommended that the units should ensure that waste potatoes are not dumped in and around the cold storages or open land. 

Cold storage units should have to tie up with nearby gaushalas for giving waste potatoes and a proper record has to be maintained, the report added.

The UPPCB, on its visit to the cold storage units, found that no waste potatoes were found dumped inside or outside the cold storage. 

Representatives of the cold storage units informed the team that waste potatoes were sent to nearby gaushalas. However, no record of this was given during the visit.

Additionally, no safety measures or facilities like safety masks/ safety shoes/ safety helmets were found during the visit, the report added.

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