Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (February 9, 2024)

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: Monday 12 February 2024

SC directs Maan Gram Panchayat, Pune to file affidavit over compliance with Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016

The Supreme Court on February 2, 2024 directed Maan Gram Panchayat, Pune, Maharashtra to file an affidavit outlining how it will comply with the requirements of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The affidavit has to be filed within a month.

The SC stated that no steps will be taken in the meantime to recover compensation from the Maan Gram Panchayat imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Maan Gram Panchayat informed the SC that all solid waste and other waste had been removed in accordance with the directions issued under the impugned final judgment and order dated February 22, 2023 in OA No 75/2021 passed by the NGT western zone, Pune.

The NGT, February 22, 2023 had imposed Rs 34 lakh fine on Maan Gram Panchayat for illegal garbage dumping and damage to the environment. Respondent in the case, Cliff Garden Condominium, had approached the NGT with the complaint of illegal garbage dumping by the panchayat on the land owned by the forest department.

Illegal mining in Jharsuguda district, Odisha

The NGT, February 5, 2024 directed the constitution of a fact-finding committee to determine the veracity of the allegations made about illegal mining in Jharsuguda district, Odisha.

The committee will comprise members from the Odisha State Pollution Control Board; divisional forest officer, Jharsuguda; director of mines and geology, Bhubaneswar, Khurdha and district collector, Jharsuguda. The panel has been asked to inspect the site in question and submit a report within a month on affidavit with regard to the allegations made.

The tribunal was hearing allegations regarding an infrastructure company, Aditya Construction, which allegedly engaged in several construction works and extracted earth / morrum from various places, according to new reports in an Odia newspaper Prameya.

The company had allegedly illegally lifted / extracted about 56,100 cubic metres of morrum in Jharsuguda district.

STP in a residential society

The eastern bench of the NGT, on February 5, 2024, was appraised by the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) that a sewage treatment plant (STP) cannot be constructed in Manorama Estates Welfare Society, Bhubaneswar.

The sewage outflow of the society to their system cannot be connected since Manorama Estates is situated in a low-lying area and the sewage flow cannot be connected to the STP due to gravity, stated the OSPCB affidavit. 

The affidavit also mentioned that Manorama Estates has already been informed by the OSPCB vide letter dated September 9, 2023 that a pumping station was required to be constructed on the premises of the estates and sewage can be pumped to nearby sewerage system at Durga Mandap, Bomikhal, Bhubaneswar.

Manorama Estates Welfare Society and Water Corporation of Odisha was directed by the NGT to file their counter-affidavits within three weeks. 

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