Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Home Stays in Uttarakhand
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on June 25, 2020, directed that all safeguards be implemented with regard to waste disposal, including plastic, garbage and sewage disposal, while executing Uttarakhand’s home stay policy.
A report filed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board and the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board informed the tribunal that the activity would not result in any environmental degradation as registration under the ‘Home Stay’ plan would be done after due inspection and verifying availability of waste management systems.
The NGT order was in response to an application filed by Rajeev Raj Bhalla. It stated that the ‘Home Stay’ Policy was a different name for guest houses without following any regulatory mechanism like no-objection certificate under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, installation of sewage treatment plants and observing structural and fire-safety norms.
The NGT on June 26 accepted the recommendations given in the report of the Madhya Pradesh State Wetland Authority, Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the state biodiversity board for not allowing any car rallies in the wetlands of Bhopal.
The report said that such car rallies could be organised in much of the undulating terrains away from wetlands of Bhopal. Further, the rally organiser should obtain the necessary permission from the local administration for the entire car rally route well in advance and make adequate arrangements for collection as well as disposal of the solid waste generated during the rally.
The court order came in the wake of an application filed in the NGT over holding of a mud car rally by a sports group called ‘Bhopal Rally Championship’ organised illegally in the Bhoj wetland (Upper Lake) of Bhopal.
The Resident Welfare Association of HL City filed an application in the NGT, blaming M / s SSF Polymers Pvt Ltd located in Bahadurgarh town of Haryana’s Jhajjar district, of violating environmental norms.
According to the applicant, the location of the said industrial unit was near the residential area, that would affect the health of the inhabitants on account of discharge of toxic gases by it.
The unit has been allowed to continue by the divisional commissioner on a ‘specious observation’ that there was no parameter to assess the pollution potential. The applicant had annexed photographs showing polluting emissions from the unit.
The NGT on June 25 directed the constitution of a joint committee comprising of the CPCB and Haryana State Pollution Control Board to visit the site and ascertain the pollution potential and desirability of location as well as continuation of the unit with regard to the impact on the environment and public health.
The report has to be filed within two months. The court said the viewpoint of the industrial unit should also be taken into account by the committee and the report placed on the CPCB website for response of the unit, if any.
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