Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (June 7, 2022)

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 07 June 2022

Joint committee report on gas leak at industrial area in Surat, Gujarat

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) January 18, 2022 directed a nine-member committee to look into a gas leak at an industrial area in Surat, Gujarat. Casualties occurred due to release of toxic gas resulting from illegal discharge of hazardous waste / chemical from a tanker into a natural drain. 

Results revealed that the sample of the tanker was highly basic and toxic in nature and had high concentrations of sulphides, ammonical nitrogen and cyanides. And the natural drain was carrying highly acidic wastewater. 

During the last five years, 76 incidents of illegal disposal of chemicals came to light, according to records. As many as 45 industries involved were ordered to be closed down. 

In 23 cases, FIRs were filed. A sum of Rs 12 crore was recovered towards environmental damages. These are the figures that the Gujarat Pollution Control Board was able to detect. 

Hikal Ltd, a pharmaceutical company, dispatched five tankers of chemical waste and the accident happened when one of them leaked. That is how it was revealed that the company had disposed five tankers. 

There may be many others who are not caught and many more tankers throwing hazardous waste like this, the report noted. It is high time to adopt the latest electronic gadgets to catch the wrong doers causing damage to the environment, NGT said in its report uploaded June 3, 2022.

Dumping sites needed for marble slurry in Srikakulam

A committee constituted to look into unscientific dumping of marble slurry on agricultural land near Harischandrapuram railway station, Kotabommali mandal, Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh filed its report before the NGT June 4, 2022.   

The committee found that due to non-availability of a designated site for dumping the granite slurry, the units were disposing it in low-lying areas, along roadsides and in unauthorised lands, causing air pollution and other environmental problems.

The government of Andhra Pradesh or the district administration of Srikakulam should allocate suitable sites within the existing granite processing units or located at isolated places preferable 1 kilometre away from any notified human habitation. After identification of a designated site for disposal of granite slurry, the marble association should construct the dumping yard with sufficient depth and for fulfilling 5 years dumping requirements, the committee recommended.

Illegal sand mining in Kadapa district

The revenue department has erected caution boards in the hillocks of Bandapalli and Hasanapuram villages in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh with warning of legal action against any illegal excavation and transportation from the hillock as they are government land. 

The quantity of gravel excavated and transported should be assessed by the department of mines and geology, along with the revenue department, said the report filed before the NGT. 

The report was in compliance with the NGT order dated April 1, 2022, which had directed the committee to look into the allegation of illegal sand mining in Prakasham and Kadapa districts, Andhra Pradesh.

Environmental norms for poultry farms

A report by the Regional Directorate (Chennai) of the Central Pollution Control Board was filed before the green tribunal on mechanism adopted in framing the environmental guidelines of August 2021 and January 2022 for poultry farms. 

Revised environmental guidelines for poultry farms with more than 5,000 birds were circulated to all state pollution control boards / pollution control committees in January 2022, the report mentioned. The action was in compliance with the NGT order of December 10, 2021, it added. 

‘Change road design to save Almora village water source’

There is the possibility of damage to a water source / naula at village Malla Dhadharia, Salt Khumad tehsil in Almora district, Uttarakhand due to the construction of a motor road, a joint committee report to the NGT said. 

The committee recommended that the water source can be conserved if the alignment of the proposed road is changed.  The report was filed by the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board in compliance with a court order dated May 11, 2022

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