Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (February 20, 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 21 February 2023
Down To Earth brings you top environmental cases heard in Supreme Court, high courts & National Green Tribunal

NGT directs Solid Waste Monitoring Committee to be set up for Delhi

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) February 16, 2023 directed the constitution of a Solid Waste Monitoring Committee to be headed by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. The committee will deal with all issues relating to solid waste management, including setting up of new waste processing facilities, augmenting existing waste processing facilities and remediation of legacy waste sites.

The committee has been asked to compile data of solid waste remediated as on March 31, 2023 and prepare graphs quarterly with the “goal of substantial reduction of legacy waste and the gap in current processing" by July 1, 2023.

Najafgarh Lake rejuvenation

The rejuvenation of the Najafgarh lake in Delhi will be dealt with by the same high-level committee headed by the Lieutenant Governor that looks into controlling pollution in the city’s drains and water bodies impacting River Yamuna, NGT said February 16.

Najafgarh lake is a transboundary wetland on the border of Delhi and Haryana and is integral to rejuvenation of Yamuna. Damage to the lake is by discharge of waste and encroachments.

The chief secretary of Haryana will take care of the rejuvenation of the part of the lake in the state, NGT noted. 

Complete measures to protection Yamuna floodplain zone in 6 months: NGT

All measures for protection of the floodplain zone of River Yamuna have to be completed within six months, the NGT bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel, Sudhir Agarwal and Arun Kumar Tyagi said. 

An application was filed before NGT by Behari Lal Chaturvedi against encroachment of Yamuna floodplain by Yamuna Mission, Mathura. It was stated that “though ostensibly it is acting to preserve and clean River Yamuna and also undertaking plantation drive, in the garb of such activities, Yamuna floodplain is being encroached”. 

The report filed by the Joint Committee on the orders of NGT July 8, 2022 informed the court that pucca constructions by the Yamuna Mission on Kans Tila, Gau Ghat have been removed. Yamuna river water quality monitoring is performed monthly at nine places of the river at Mathura.

The river water quality is worse at the point where the river enters Mathura district and improves slightly as it passes through it.

Yamuna river pollution in Haryana

NGT directed the chief secretary of Haryana February 16, 2023 to file further progress reports on steps taken to bridge the gap between generation and treatment of sewage. This was in response to a report presented by the state government on the matter.

The additional reports needs to be filed by April 30, 2023, the green court said. 

Haryana discharges 540 million litres of untreated effluents per day into 11 drains connected to Yamuna, the report showed. Further, estimation of sewage generation in Haryana for Yamuna catchment in 34 towns presented a gap of 240 million litres per day in installed capacity and generation.

The Haryana government said STPs are being constructed to bridge the said gap by December 31, 2023. 

NGT said there was a huge gap in generation and treatment of sewage and that needs to be remedied on war footing “instead of a proposed plan of achieving the targets in the year 2027 after four years, thereby continuing damage to the environment for the next four years”. 

The tribunal expressed its displeasure on the fact that Uttar Pradesh has not filed its report on the matter and was asked to file further progress reports by April 30, 2023 as well. 

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