Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (January 11, 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: Wednesday 11 January 2023
Down To Earth brings you top environmental cases heard in Supreme Court, high courts & National Green Tribunal

Hotel Presidency in Bhubaneswar discharging water, sewage into stormwater drain

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) found that the test report of water samples of Hotel Presidency in Bhubaneswar had high levels of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS) as well as faecal coliform. However, these two test reports did not give the standards / regulatory limits, the green court noted.

NGT (Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata) expressed its surprise as to how the authorised signatory and board analyst has signed the reports. The court directed the member secretary of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board to take appropriate action against the authorised signatory and the board analyst who have signed these water analysis reports “by way of stern warnings not to prepare test reports in a caused manner in future”.

The affidavit of the Odisha Pollution Control Board contains a letter dated November 25, 2022 mentioning BOD and faecal coliform levels are high and beyond the criterial parameters — the NGT asked what action has been taken against the concerned hotel.

The Report of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority has mentioned that Hotel Presidency is discharging its water and sewage into the storm water drain and the court asked SPCB to verify whether the sewage treatment plant of the hotel is functional. 

“More than four years have passed and the current report of the State Pollution Control Board also shows that the concerned hotel is in violation of environmental norms,” the order said.

Sponge iron unit in Dhenkanal, Odisha

NGT January 9 directed the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to file an affidavit explaining as to whether, after the closure notice was issued on GM Iron and Steel Company Ltd on October 29, 2021, a fresh inspection was conducted before allowing the industry to operate with its full capacity vide SPCB’s order January 28, 2022. 

And if not, “why was the industry in question allowed to operate only on the basis of a bank guarantee of Rs 11.85 lakh?" said the order passed by the bench of justice B Amit Sthalekar of the eastern zone bench of NGT.

The matter related to violation of environmental norms by GM Iron and Steel, a sponge iron unit in Dhenkanal district, Odisha.

Construction of a road over a pond in Gurugram

In the matter of construction of a road over a pond in village Kiranj and cutting of trees in the forest area of village Hazipur in Gurugram, NGT on January 11 has directed a joint committee to be constituted. The committee has been asked to visit the site, collect relevant information and submit a detailed factual report.

The applicant, Prem Mohan Gaur, has said that the construction of the road is being carried out by the National Highway Authority of India. While constructing road in an elevated new National Highway-148NA, which is connected to Gurugram canal, the officials of NHAI have covered a pond notified under Haryana Pond Waste Water Management Authority Act, 2018, it added. 

They have also caused illegal cutting of trees in the forest area in violation of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 in village Hazipur, Gurugram which falls under the social forestry scheme of the forest department of Haryana.

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