Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (January 16, 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: Wednesday 17 January 2024

Rs 58.14 crore recovered by UPPCB from units flouting fly ash disposal norms

The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has recovered Rs 58.14 crore in environmental compensation (EC) from industries flouting fly ash disposal norms, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) was told. 

The member secretary, UPPCB submitted an affidavit in compliance with an October 6, 2023 order by the NGT in the matter of Sachin Tomar Vs State of Uttar Pradesh.

Of the total recovered amount, Rs 10.63 crore was imposed in compliance with the NGT order and EC of Rs 1.25 crore was imposed in compliance with Commission for Air Quality Management in Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) directions, the affidavit stated.

Further, EC of Rs 46.26 crore was imposed against the defaulter units by the UPPCB on the basis of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines. The regional offices of the state pollution control board also carried out site verifications of green belt development and fly ash disposal by project proponents in accordance with EC / consent conditions.

The affidavit also mentioned a proposal to select a “pioneer agency” through the Centre’s government e-marketplace portal to conduct a study regarding eco-friendly disposal of fly ash generated by coal-based industries 

NGT panel to look into illegal mining in Band Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary, Bharatpur

The central bench of the NGT directed a three-member committee to look into the allegations of illegal mining within the notified area of Band Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

The committee, consisting of one representative each from the collector, Bharatpur; district forest officer, Bharatpur and Rajasthan Pollution Control Board, was directed to visit the place and submit the factual and action-taken report within six weeks.

The court also directed the authorities to file their reply within six weeks.

An application alleged The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 were being flouted in the notified area of Band Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary and the other parts of tehsil Bayana in the district of Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

It also alleged that illegal mining was taking place and the dust emitted by it was leading to breathing problems for the residents of the village adjacent to the mining area.

Certain areas of Bandh Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary were de-notified for mining purposes and revenue generation by the state government. However, certain illegal miners have started sandstone mining activities without the permission of the authorities concerned, the applicant stated.

Indian Potash Ltd undertaking activities under CSR / CER

Fertiliser company Indian Potash Ltd told NGT in an affidavit that it was taking all steps to maintain the green belt and carry out activities under corporate social responsibility / corporate environment responsibility.

For instance, the industry participated in the Vrahad Vraksha Ropan Maha Abhiyan 2023 and planted 5,000 trees of various varieties. Out of the 5,000 saplings planted, around 1,500 could not survive and at present there are around 3500 trees in the factory premises.

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