Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (May 10, 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 10 May 2023
Down To Earth brings you top environmental cases heard in Supreme Court, high courts & National Green Tribunal

Stop mining site above Uttarakhand village: NGT

Mining being done right above Ugiyan village in Kapkot tehsil, Bageshwar district, Uttarakhand must be stopped immediately, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) said May 9, 2023. The court directed the district magistrate to ensure that no mining takes place in the area. 

An application was filed by Kailash Singh against illegal mining at village Sorag. It stated that blasting in the area was affecting the safety of the houses, about 4,000 standing trees, water course and grazing land.

An NGT order dated January 1, 2023 constituted a committee comprising the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board, district magistrate Bageshwar and divisional forest officer, Bageshwar to furnish a factual and action taken report on the matter. 

The committee report dated March 17, 2023 admitted that the site of mining is just above Ugiyan village “where there is a 45 degree slope”. It also acknowledged that 4,000 trees may be affected by illegal mining and grazing land and stormwater drains in the area may also be affected. 

The villagers had opposed the mining over the geographical location and potential for damage. 

The NGT went through the report and said there is no reason to brush it aside over the potential damage of mining in the area. 

Guidelines for people with autism

The Supreme Court (SC) has sought the Government of India’s response to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) regarding the steps taken for the welfare of persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The apex court noted the petitioner raised significant issues relating to the formulation of guidelines under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 to include people affected with ASD.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala took note of the submissions of lawyer Gaurav Kejriwal, appearing for Shaurya Foundation Trust, and issued notices on its PIL.

Unscientific dumping of solid waste

There is no scientific management of legacy waste in the municipal solid waste (MSW) processing plant at Hapur road, Lohiya Nagar, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, the NGT noted May 9. There is neither proper segregation at source nor processing capacity.

The court said the reports show 700,000 metric tonnes of legacy waste still exists and only 300,000 MT has been remediated. There is no waste processing plant and thus, 900 tonnes per day is being just dumped. 

“Thus, there is a patent breach of statutory duties by the Corporation and failure of higher authorities in remedying the situation,” said the NGT, May 9, 2023.

The NGT directed the chief secretary of UP to look into the matter and take further measures. In addition, the commissioner of Meerut Municipal Corporation should also file an action taken report on the matter within one month.

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